• animal model;
  • biomaterials;
  • heart valve (transapical, percutaneous);
  • off-pump surgery;
  • pulmonary valve


Objectives: This study evaluated the feasibility of inserting a new equine stented-valve with a sinus portion in a lamb survival model, through a minimally invasive thoracotomy with right ventricular access without cardiopulmonary bypass. Background: Extant surgical or percutaneous methods for inserting biological valves in the right outflow tract have drawbacks and limitations. Methods: A decellularized equine valved jugular vein, sutured to a self-expanding stent with a sinus portion, was placed through a minimal right thoracotomy using a newly developed flexible hydraulic release device in seven lambs. The approach through the right ventricle into the pulmonary valve position is achieved on a beating heart. Results: The stented valves were correctly positioned in the right outflow tract, were competent up to 6 months as confirmed by angiography and echocardiography, and were well-tolerated by the animals, with endothelialization of the valve demonstrated at 6 months. Conclusions: The newly developed hydraulic release system allowed for safe and reliable insertion of an equine stented-valve with a sinus portion, through a right transventricular approach on a beating heart, in a sheep survival model. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.