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Mitral valve repair in dogs using an ePTFE chordal implantation device: a pilot study

Borgarelli, M., Lanz, O., Pavlisko, N., Abbott, J.A., Menciotti, G., Aherne, M., Lahmers, S.M., Lahmers, K.K., Gammie, J.S.
Journal of veterinary cardiology 2017 v.19 no.3 pp. 256-267
Beagle, anesthesia, death, dogs, echocardiography, heart, heart valve diseases
Mitral valve (MV) regurgitation due to degenerative MV disease is the leading cause of cardiac death in dogs. We carried out preliminary experiments to determine the feasibility and short-term effects of beating-heart MV repair using an expanded polytetrafluorethylene (ePTFE) chordal implantation device (Harpoon TSD-5) in dogs.This study involved six healthy purpose-bred Beagles (weight range 8.9–11.4 kg).Following a mini-thoracotomy performed under general anesthesia, the TSD-5 was used to place 1 or 2 artificial ePTFE cords on the anterior MV leaflet or the posterior MV leaflet via a left-ventricular transapical approach. The procedure was guided and monitored by transesophageal echocardiography. Postoperative antithrombotic treatment consisted of clopidogrel or a combination of clopidogrel and apixaban. Dogs were serially evaluated by transthoracic echocardiography at day 1, 7, 14, 21, and 30. The hearts were then examined for evaluation of tissues reactions and to detect signs of endothelialization.One or two chords were successfully implanted in five dogs. Four dogs completed the 30 days follow-up. One dog died intra-operatively because of aortic perforation. One dog died early post-operatively from a hemorrhagic pleural effusion attributed to overly aggressive antithrombotic treatment. One dog developed a thrombus surrounding both the knot and the synthetic cord. Postmortem exam confirmed secure placement of ePTFE knots in the mitral leaflets in all dogs and the presence of endothelialization of the knots and chords.These preliminary results demonstrate the feasibility of artificial chordal placement using an ePTFE cordal implantation device in dogs.