Tricuspid Valve Diseases
Acquired tricuspid valve disease is a rare condition. The tricuspid valve is a valve with three leaflets that controls the flow of blood from the right atrium to the right ventricle.
The most common cause of tricuspid stenosis and regurgitation is rheumatic heart disease.
Although tricuspid stenosis is usually due to rheumatic causes, connective tissue diseases can also rarely cause tricuspid stenosis. Symptoms of tricuspid stenosis usually appear in the forties. The most common symptoms are fatigue, dyspnea, and peripheral edema. Almost half of the patients suffer from arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation. In very advanced stages of the disease, liver enlargement and ascites (buildup of fluid in the abdomen) may occur.
Tricuspid regurgitation alone is a rare condition. It is often associated with other valvular diseases. Rheumatic heart disease and endocarditis are the most common causes of this disorder. Atrial fibrillation is present in the majority of patients with tricuspid regurgitation. Symptoms of the disease appear late. The jugular veins become prominent, and the liver enlarges. Dyspnea is not common.
Surgical valve repair or valve replacement may be required for severe tricuspid or pulmonary valve regurgitation and right ventricular failure. When hemodynamically significant pulmonary or tricuspid valve stenosis is also present with limiting symptoms, it can sometimes be treated by valve replacement or repair.
If the cause of tricuspid stenosis is adhesion between the valves, just opening this adhesion sometimes can solve the problem. In cases of tricuspid regurgitation, repair of the enlarged valve ring with a ring (annular graft material) and plication of the enlarged valve (narrowing by suturing) can be used. In cases where the valve is severely degenerated, it should be replaced with an artificial valve.