This study aims at achieving a proof-of-concept for a novel device designed to occlude the orifices that may form between transcatheter valves and host tissues after TAVI. The device effect on the performance of a SAPIEN XT with a paravalvular gap was assessed into an in vitro and ex vivo pulse duplicator. The in vitro tests were performed complying with the standard international regulations, measuring the trasvalvular pressure and regurgitant volumes with and without the paravalvular gap, and with the occluder correctly positioned into the gap. In the second series of tests, the leakage reduction due to the presence of the occluder was assessed for the same setup, into a beating swine heart. The occluder implantation decreased the regurgitant fraction of about 50% for the in vitro assessment and 75% for the ex vivo test, under rest operating conditions. These results suggest that suitably designed occluders can lead to important benefit in the PVL treatment.
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