Tricuspid Valve Disease

(Tricuspid Regurgitation; Tricuspid Stenosis)

Definition

Tricuspid valve disease refers to damage to the tricuspid heart valve. This valve is located between the atrium (upper chamber) and the ventricle (lower pumping chamber) of the right side of the heart. The tricuspid valve has three cusps, or flaps, that control the direction and flow of blood.The two main types of tricuspid valve disease are:
  • Tricuspid stenosis—narrowing of the tricuspid valve
  • Tricuspid regurgitation—backflow of blood into the atrium from the ventricle due to improper closing of the tricuspid valve flaps
Anatomy of the Heart
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Causes

Rheumatic fever is the most common cause of tricuspid valve disease (especially stenosis). Other causes include:

Risk Factors

A personal history of rheumatic fever may increase your chance of getting tricuspid valve disease.

Symptoms

In many cases, there are no symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, they may include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue, especially during physical activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal fullness
  • Swelling in the legs or abdomen
  • Changes in skin color

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