Acoustic analysis of the closing sounds of bileaflet prosthetic valves in a sheep model

R. L. Donnerstein, W. A. Scott, A. Vasu, J. G. Copeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Previous investigations of mechanical valve sounds have shown that (1) frequency spectra of sounds produced by abnormal valves differ from those of properly functioning valves and (2) leaflets of normally functioning bileaflet valves do not close synchronously. This investigation studied effects of mechanical valve size, environment, and hemodynamic state on closing sounds. A single 25 mm bileaflet mitral mechanical valve was implanted in six sheep and a single 27 mm valve in four sheep. With digital signal processing, asynchronous leaflet closure and frequency spectra were assessed after alterations in animal position, respiratory phase, heart rate, afterload, contractility, and preload. Both asynchronous leaflet closure and frequency spectra varied among animals, and, except for a decrease in asynchrony with increasing contractility, were largely independent of valve size and hemodynamics. Baseline asynchrony ranged from 0.5 to 4.2 msec. Frequency spectra were characterized by the first three resonant peaks. Lowest resonant peaks ranged from 2.5 to 3.4 kHz, middle from 4.7 to 6.8 kHz, and highest from 7.2 to 9.6 kHz. These results indicate that accurate assessment of mechanical valve function with acoustic analysis requires baseline studies in all patients by means of a system with a frequency response of more than 10 kHz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1060-1068
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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