Tricuspid valve disease

By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel

Definition

What is tricuspid valve disease?

Tricuspid valve disease is a condition in which the valve between the two right heart chambers (right ventricle and right atrium) doesn’t function properly. Tricuspid valve disease often occurs with other heart valve problems.

Several types of tricuspid valve disease exist, including:

  • Tricuspid valve regurgitation. In this condition, the tricuspid valve doesn’t close properly, and blood flows back into your heart’s upper right chamber (right atrium).
  • Tricuspid valve stenosis. In this condition, the tricuspid valve is narrowed, decreasing the amount of blood that can flow through it from the right atrium to the lower right heart chamber (right ventricle).
  • Tricuspid atresia. In tricuspid atresia — a condition present at birth (congenital) — the tricuspid valve isn’t formed, and a solid sheet of tissue blocks the blood flow between your right heart chambers.
  • Ebstein’s anomaly. Ebstein’s anomaly is a congenital heart defect in which a malformed tricuspid valve sits lower than normal in the right ventricle. This can cause blood to flow back into the right atrium (tricuspid valve regurgitation).

How common is tricuspid valve disease?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of tricuspid valve disease?

The common symptoms of tricuspid valve disease are:

  • Irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation)
  • Easily tired (fatigue)
  • A fluttering discomfort in the neck
  • With severe disease, heart failure symptoms (right abdominal pain, shortness of breath, swelling in the legs or abdomen, cold skin)

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes tricuspid valve disease?

  • Infection, such as rheumatic fever or infective endocarditis
  • A dilated right ventricle, causing the annulus (a ring of tough fibrous tissue which is attached to and supports the leaflets of the valve) of the tricuspid valve to enlarge
  • Increased pressure through the tricuspid valve (seen with pulmonary hypertension)
  • Less common causes include congenital defects, trauma, carcinoid heart disease, tumor, tricuspid valve prolapse, Ebstein’s anomaly, systemic lupus, and trauma.

Tricuspid valve disease, if caused by rheumatic fever, is often combined with mitral and/or aortic valve disease.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for tricuspid valve disease?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is tricuspid valve disease diagnosed?

Tricuspid valve disease may first be diagnosed during a physical exam. The doctor will often hear a murmur (abnormal blood flow through the valve). Other signs your doctor may find are an irregular pulse and a fluttering or abnormal pulsation in your neck (jugular vein).

Tests used to diagnose valve disease may include:

  • Electrocardiography (ECG)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiography
  • Transesophageal echocardiography
  • Cardiac Catheterization (cardiac cath or angiogram)
  • Radionuclide scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

How is tricuspid valve disease treated?

Medical Management

Your doctor will want to monitor the progress of your valve disease with regular appointments. They may be spaced once a year or more often, if your doctor feels you need to be followed more closely.

Your appointment will include a medical exam. Diagnostic studies may be repeated at regular intervals.

Your physician may prescribe medications to treat your symptoms. These medications may include drugs to treat heart failure or medications to control irregular heart rhythms.

Surgical Management

Tricuspid Valve Repair

When valve disease is severe, it may be necessary to repair or replace the diseased valve. Tricuspid valve repair using an annuloplasty ring is the preferred surgical approach for tricuspid regurgitation and may be performed for primary tricuspid disease or for combined cases with other valve surgery (mitral, aortic).

When the valve can not be repaired, a valve replacement will be performed. Find more information about tricuspid valve surgery.

Endocarditis prevention

If you have tricuspid valve disease, you are at risk for getting endocarditis, an infection that causes damage to the heart valves (even if your valve has been repaired or replaced with surgery). You will need to follow these guidelines:

Anatomically correct design conforms to the 3-D tricuspid valve opening.

  • Tell your doctors and dentist you have valve disease. You may want to carry a card with this information.
  • Call your doctor if you have symptoms of an infection (sore throat, general body achiness, and fever). Colds and flus do not cause endocarditis. But, infections, which may have the same symptoms, do. So, to be safe, call your doctor.
  • Take good care of your teeth and gums to prevent infections. See your dentist for regular visits.
  • Take antibiotics before you undergo any procedure that may cause bleeding:
    • Any dental work (even a basic teeth cleaning)
    • Invasive tests
    • Most major or minor surgery

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage tricuspid valve disease?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Review Date: December 14, 2017 | Last Modified: December 8, 2019