Location matters: Offset in tissue-engineered vascular graft implantation location affects wall shear stress in porcine models


Advocate Children's Hospital


Objective: Although surgical simulation using computational fluid dynamics has advanced, little is known about the accuracy of cardiac surgical procedures after patient-specific design. We evaluated the effects of discrepancies in location for patient-specific simulation and actual implantation on hemodynamic performance of patient-specific tissue-engineered vascular grafts (TEVGs) in porcine models.

Methods: Magnetic resonance angiography and 4-dimensional (4D) flow data were acquired in porcine models (n = 11) to create individualized TEVGs. Graft shapes were optimized and manufactured by electrospinning bioresorbable material onto a metal mandrel. TEVGs were implanted 1 or 3 months postimaging, and postoperative magnetic resonance angiography and 4D flow data were obtained and segmented. Displacement between intended and observed TEVG position was determined through center of mass analysis. Hemodynamic data were obtained from 4D flow analysis. Displacement and hemodynamic data were compared using linear regression.

Results: Patient-specific TEVGs were displaced between 1 and 8 mm during implantation compared with their surgically simulated, intended locations. Greater offset between intended and observed position correlated with greater wall shear stress (WSS) in postoperative vasculature (P < .01). Grafts that were implanted closer to their intended locations showed decreased WSS.

Conclusions: Patient-specific TEVGs are designed for precise locations to help optimize hemodynamic performance. However, if TEVGs were implanted far from their intended location, worse WSS was observed. This underscores the importance of not only patient-specific design but also precision-guided implantation to optimize hemodynamics in cardiac surgery and increase reproducibility of surgical simulation.

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