The purpose of this investigation was to establish a correlation between mechanical heart valve (MHV) cavitation and transient pressure (TP) signals at MHV closure. This correlation may suggest a possible method to detect in vivo MHV cavitation. In a pulsatile mock flow loop, a study was performed to measure TP and observe cavitation bubble inception at MHV closure under simulated physiologic ventricular and aortic pressures at heart rates of 70, 90, 120, and 140 beats/min with corresponding cardiac outputs of 5.0, 6.0, 7.5, and 8.5 L/min, respectively. The experimental study included two bileaflet MHV prostheses: 1) St. Jude Medical 31 mm and 2) Carbomedics 31 mm. High fidelity piezo-electric pressure transducers were used to measure TP immediately before and after the valve leaflet/housing impact. A stroboscopic lighting imaging technique was developed to capture cavitation bubbles on the MHV inflow surfaces at selected time delays ranging from 25 μs to 1 ms
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.