Mitral regurgitation is one of the most common valve diseases in the UK and contributes to 50% of the transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) procedures with bioprosthetic valves. TMVR is generally performed in frailer, older patients unlikely to tolerate open-heart surgery or further interventions. One of the side effects of implanting a bioprosthetic valve is a condition known as left ventricular outflow obstruction, whereby the implanted device can partially obstruct the outflow of blood from the left ventricle causing high flow resistance. The ventricle has then to pump more vigorously to provide adequate blood supply to the circulatory system and becomes hypertrophic. This ultimately results in poor contractility and heart failure.
We developed personalised image-based models to characterise the complex relationship between anatomy, blood flow, and ventricular function both before and after TMVR. The model prediction provides key information to match individual patient and device size, such as postoperative changes in intraventricular pressure gradients and blood residence time. Our pilot data from a cohort of 7 TMVR patients identified a correlation between the degree of outflow obstruction and the deterioration of ventricular function: when approximately one third of the outflow was obstructed as a result of the device implantation, significant increases in the flow resistance and the average time spent by the blood inside the ventricle were observed, which are in turn associated with hypertrophic ventricular remodelling and blood stagnation, respectively. Currently, preprocedural planning for TMVR relies largely on anecdotal experience and standard anatomical evaluations. The haemodynamic knowledge derived from the models has the potential to enhance significantly pre procedural planning and, in the long term, help develop a personalised risk scoring system specifically designed for TMVR patients.