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Title: In vivo assessment of mitral valve leaflet remodelling following myocardial infarction

Each year, more than 40,000 people undergo mitral valve (MV) repair surgery domestically to treat regurgitation caused by myocardial infarction (MI). Although continual MV tissue remodelling following repair is believed to be a major contributor to regurgitation recurrence, the effects of the post-MI state on MV remodelling remain poorly understood. This lack of understanding limits our ability to predict the remodelling of the MV both post-MI and post-surgery to facilitate surgical planning. As a necessary first step, the present study was undertaken to noninvasively quantify the effects of MI on MV remodelling in terms of leaflet geometry and deformation. MI was induced in eight adult Dorset sheep, and real-time three-dimensional echocardiographic (rt-3DE) scans were collected pre-MI as well as at 0, 4, and 8 weeks post-MI. A previously validated image-based morphing pipeline was used to register corresponding open- and closed-state scans and extract local in-plane strains throughout the leaflet surface at systole. We determined that MI inducedpermanentchanges in leaflet dimensions in the diastolic configuration, which increased with time to 4 weeks, then stabilised. MI substantially affected the systolicshapeof the MV, and therange of stretchexperienced by the MV leaflet at peak systole was substantially reduced when referred to the current time-point. more » Interestingly, when we referred the leaflet strains to the pre-MI configuration, the systolic strains remained very similar throughout the post-MI period. Overall, we observed that post-MI ventricular remodeling induced permanent changes in the MV leaflet shape. This predominantly affected the MV’s diastolic configuration, leading in turn to a significant decrease in the range of stretch experienced by the leaflet when referenced to the current diastolic configuration. These findings are consistent with our previous work that demonstrated increased plastic (i.e. non-recoverable) leaflet deformations post-MI, that was completely accounted for by the associated changes in collagen fiber structure. Moreover, we demonstrated through noninvasive methods that the state of the MV leaflet can elucidate the progression and extent of MV adaptation following MI and is thus highly relevant to the design of current and novel patient specific minimally invasive surgical repair strategies.

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Publication Date:
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Scientific Reports
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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