Definition

Tricuspid valve disease is damage to a valve in the heart. This valve has three flaps that control the direction and flow of blood from the body to the lungs.

The two main types of this disease are:

  • Tricuspid stenosis—narrowing of the tricuspid valve
  • Tricuspid regurgitation—flaps do not close tightly and let blood flow backward
Anatomy of the Heart
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Causes

The valve may not develop the right way in some people. In other people, the disease may be caused by:

Risk Factors

This disease is more common in people who have had rheumatic heart disease.

Symptoms

Some people may not have symptoms. Others may have:

  • Fatigue, especially during activity
  • Lack of hunger
  • Abdominal fullness
  • Swelling in the legs or abdomen
  • Problems breathing

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. You may be asked if you have had rheumatic heart disease. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the heart.

Images may be taken of the heart to confirm the diagnosis. This can be done with an echocardiogram.

Treatment

Treatment will depend on how severe the damage is. Only severe symptoms may need to be treated. This can be done with:

  • Medicines, such as diuretics to control fluid buildup or vasodilators to help open blood vessels
  • Surgery to repair or replace the valve

Prevention

Tricuspid valve disease itself cannot be prevented. Strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever. Treating the infection early may lower the risk of problems.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2019 -
  • Update Date: 01/13/2020 -