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Title: Acoustic monitoring of prosthetic heart valves.
Authors: Reynolds, Karen Jane.
First Published: 1994
Award date: 1994
Abstract: The aim of the work presented in this thesis was to examine the possibility of detecting structural changes to an implanted prosthetic heart valve by spectral analysis of the sounds produced by the valve. On closure, mechanical heart valves produce a distinct sound as the occluder strikes the metal frame of the valve. Any change in the mechanical state of the valve will produce changes in the modes of vibration of the entire structure, causing the spectrum of the closing sounds to change. Initial recordings were made in a large tank of water providing ideal valve actuation and recording conditions. Results showed that all valves produce a stable averaged spectrum, and that each valve has a unique averaged spectrum. A digital filtering technique was developed whereby a baseline spectrum recorded from each valve is used for comparison with all subsequently recorded spectra from that valve. Using this technique, averaged spectra from individual valves were found to be highly reproducible. However, a minor structural alteration to a valve (added mass, or strut fracture) caused significant spectral changes, readily detected by digital filtering. To investigate the effect of a finite recording volume, recordings were made in a tank with dimensions approximating those of a human thorax. Standing waves generated by reverberations were clearly visible in the results. Structural changes to a valve were still detectable. Recordings were also made from prosthetic valves implanted in patients. To reduce sound distortion at the thoracic surface, recordings were made with the patient submerged in water. Results showed that reproducible averaged spectra could be obtained from implanted valves provided recording conditions were kept constant. The technique has not yet been developed to the point where it can be applied clinically. Nevertheless the technique shows promise as a method of screening patients at risk.
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology
Leicester Theses

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