Engineering Analysis of Tricuspid Annular Dynamics in the Beating Ovine Heart


Functional tricuspid regurgitation is a significant source of morbidity and mortality in the US. Furthermore, treatment of functional tricuspid regurgitation is suboptimal with significant recurrence rates, which may, at least in part, be due to our limited knowledge of the relationship between valvular shape and function. Here we study the dynamics of the healthy in vivo ovine tricuspid annulus to improve our understanding of normal annular deformations throughout the cardiac cycle. To this end, we determine both clinical as well as engineering metrics of in vivo annular dynamics based on sonomicrometry crystals surgically attached to the annulus. We confirm that the tricuspid annulus undergoes large dynamic changes in area, perimeter, height, and eccentricity throughout the cardiac cycle. This deformation may be described as asymmetric in-plane motion of the annulus with minor out-of-plane motion. In addition, we employ strain and curvature to provide mechanistic insight into the origin of this deformation. Specifically, we find that strain and curvature vary considerable across the annulus with highly localized minima and maxima resulting in aforementioned configurational changes throughout the cardiac cycle. It is our hope that these data provide valuable information for clinicians and engineers alike and ultimately help us improve treatment of functional tricuspid regurgitation.

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This study was supported by an internal Grant from the Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute at Spectrum Health.

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None of the authors have conflict of interest to report.

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Correspondence to Manuel K. Rausch.

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Associate Editor Ender A. Finol oversaw the review of this article.

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Rausch, M.K., Malinowski, M., Wilton, P. et al. Engineering Analysis of Tricuspid Annular Dynamics in the Beating Ovine Heart. Ann Biomed Eng 46, 443–451 (2018) doi:10.1007/s10439-017-1961-y

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  • Functional tricuspid regurgitation
  • Strain
  • Curvature
  • Sonomicrometry
  • Splines