In vivo observation of cavitation on prosthetic heart valves

Conrad M. Zapanta, David R. Stinebring, Deborah S. Sneckenberger, Steven Deutsch, David B. Geselowitz, John M. Tarbell, Alan J. Snyder, Gerson Rosenberg, William J. Weiss, Walter E. Pae, William S. Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


In this study, a method to determine the existence of prosthetic heart valve cavitation in vivo is presented. Pennsylvania State University Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) were implanted in two separate calves for this study. Bjork-Shiley Monostrut (Irvine, CA) 27 mm and 25 mm valves with Delrin occluders were used in the mitral and aortic positions, respectively. A high fidelity, piezoelectric pressure transducer was mounted approximately 1.25 cm proximal to the mitral valve and measured the high frequency pressure fluctuations caused by cavitation bubble formation and collapse after valve closure. The root mean square (RMS) value of the mitral pressure signal during a 5 ms interval after valve closure was used as a measure of cavitation intensity. The pressure signals observed in vivo were similar to ones observed in vitro with the same type of pressure transducer and were associated with the visually observed cavitation. The percentage of beats with cavitation increased from 20.3% to 67.7% when pump filling was decreased by increasing beat rate. A blood test conducted during post-operative days 1- 3 showed a significant increase in plasma hemoglobin during the low filling condition. However, blood tests conducted later (post-operative days 7-44) did not show a significant change in plasma hemoglobin during low filling conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)M550-M555
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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