INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVES: Balloon instability is commonly encountered during balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty (BPV) and may result in an unsuccessful procedure. The NuCLEUS-X™ catheter is a recently developed BPV catheter with a unique barbell shape and an ordered pattern of inflation that stabilizes the balloon to span the valve annulus before expansion of the balloon center.
ANIMALS: Ten client-owned dogs with severe valvular pulmonic stenosis (PS).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Prospective observational study. The BPV procedure was performed by standard technique with use of NuCLEUS-X™ catheters targeting a balloon-to-annulus ratio between 1.2 and 1.5. Balloon stability, safety, and procedural success were assessed. Procedural success was defined as either a reduction in the Doppler transpulmonic PG by at least 50% of the pre-procedural PG or <80 mmHg one month post procedure.
RESULTS: Balloon stability centered at the pulmonic valve on the first inflation was achieved in 10/10 cases. The mean PG before BPV was 141 mmHg ±41 mmHg, and the PG after BPV at one month was 83 mmHg ±41 mmHg. Procedural success was achieved in 56% of patients. All dogs survived the BPV, and no major procedural complications were encountered using the NuCLEUS-X™ catheter.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of the NuCLEUS-X™ catheter is feasible for BPV in dogs with severe PS. The unique balloon shape provided catheter stability on the first inflation in all dogs, which may be beneficial when stabilization of a conventional BPV catheter cannot be achieved.