The tricuspid is a valve that is located between your heart’s right atrium (upper chamber) and right ventricle (lower chamber). It’s the first valve from four that blood passes through after circulating through your body.
When valve between the right ventricle and right atrium doesn’t close completely, it results in a condition known as tricuspid valve regurgitation resulting in the blood flowing backwards into the upper right chamber (right atrium).
The tricuspid valve may regurgitate at birth (congenital heart disease). Tricuspid valve regurgitation can occasionally be the outcome of valve issues brought on by other medical diseases.
Mild tricuspid valve regurgitation may have no symptoms and therefore may not require treatment. Medication or surgery may be required if the problem is severe and symptomatic.
The signs and symptoms of tricuspid valve regurgitation frequently do not appear until the condition is severe. When testing are performed for other purposes, the condition can be found.
Tricuspid valve regurgitation symptoms and signs can include:
- Heart arrhythmias
- Heart murmur
- Difficulty of breathing when doing activity
- Neck pulsation
- Abdomen, legs or neck vein swelling
If you experience easily being exhausted or shortness of breath during activities, schedule a consultation with a doctor. Your doctor could suggest that you see a specialist in heart issues (cardiologist).
Knowing how the heart and heart valves normally function may be useful in understanding the reasons of tricuspid valve regurgitation.
Hearts have four chambers. Blood is filled into the two upper chambers (atria) and blood is pumped by the two lower chambers (ventricles). To maintain proper blood flow, four valves open and close continuously. The heart is made up of 4 valves, which are the aortic valve, mitral valve, tricuspid valve, and pulmonary valve.
The two right heart chambers are separated by the tricuspid valve. Three tiny tissue flaps (called cusps, or leaflets) make up the tricuspid valve. The right atrium’s upper chamber (right atrium) and lower chamber (right ventricle) blood flow is enabled by these valve flaps opening. After that, the valve flaps seal firmly to stop the flow of blood backward.
The tricuspid valve does not seal tightly in tricuspid valve regurgitation and therefore causes blood to seep into the right atrium as a result.
Causes of tricuspid valve regurgitation include:
- Congenital heart defects. The tricuspid valve’s structure and function can be impacted by congenital cardiac abnormalities. The unusual congenital heart defect known as Ebstein anomaly frequently results in the regurgitation of the tricuspid valve in young children. The tricuspid valve is deformed in this condition and rests lower in the right ventricle than it should.
- Genetic disorders. A connective tissue condition called Marfan syndrome sporadically results in tricuspid valve regurgitation.
- Rheumatic fever. Untreated strep throat can have complications that harm other heart valves, including the tricuspid valve, leading to valve regurgitation later in life.
- Infective endocarditis. Tricuspid valve damage can result from an infection of the heart’s lining.
- Carcinoid syndrome. A hormone-like substance that can harm heart valves, most frequently the tricuspid valve and pulmonary valves, is produced by tumors that start in the digestive system and spread to the liver or lymph nodes in this uncommon illness.
- Chest trauma. Tricuspid valve regurgitation may result from chest trauma, such as that sustained in a vehicle collision.
- Pacemaker or cardiac device wires. When pacemaker and defibrillator wires, which cross the tricuspid valve, are inserted or removed, it might occasionally result in tricuspid valve regurgitation.
- Heart muscle (endomyocardial) biopsy. A tiny sample of cardiac muscle tissue is taken during this procedure and examined for indicators of inflammation or infection. Occasionally, this biopsy can result in valve damage.
- Radiation therapy. Tricuspid valve damage and regurgitation may result after receiving radiation to the chest, such as during cancer treatment.
- Myxomatous degeneration. This occurs when the valve’s leaflets get too stretched and are unable to seal. Although it occurs more frequently in the mitral valve, there is a possibility of occurrence in the tricuspid.
Tricuspid valve regurgitation is made more likely by a number of factors, including:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Chest exposure to radiation
- Cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle)
- Heart-related infections such rheumatic fever and infective endocarditis
- Heart defects present since birth such as Ebstein anomaly
- Making use of some stimulants and drugs for migraines and Parkinson’s disease