True or False: Mitral Valve Replacements Have Only Two Leaflets
Are you ready for some interesting trivia about heart valve replacement devices?
The mitral valve is the only human heart valve that is bicuspid. Bicuspid means the valve has only two leaflets. Alternatively, each of the other heart valves (aortic, pulmonary, tricuspid) have three distinct valve leaflets – also known as heart valve flaps. Please see the top-side view of the human heart diagram below.
In light of this information, my true/false quiz to you is, “Mitral valve replacements have only two leaflets to best mimic the genetic and evolutionary design of the mitral valve.”
So… What do you think? Is that statement true or false?
I hate to be a trickster but the answer to that question is:
- On one hand, the statement is true. There are certain mechanical valve replacements that are designed with two swiveling leaflets used to manage the flow of blood through the heart. You can see an example of the On-X mitral valve replacement below.
- On the other hand, the statement is false. There are several tissue valve replacements that use three leaflets to enhance the flow of blood through the heart. Below you can see a picture of an Edwards pericardial tissue valve – also knows as a cow valve replacement.
I hope this post helped you learn more about mitral valve replacements and mitral valve leaflets.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.