Tricuspid regurgitation

Alternative Names

Tricuspid insufficiency

Definition of Tricuspid regurgitation

Tricuspid regurgitation is a disorder in which the heart’s tricuspid valve does not close properly, causing blood to flow backward (leak) into the right upper heart chamber (atrium) when the right lower heart chamber (ventricle) contracts.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The tricuspid valve separates the right lower heart chamber (the right ventricle) from the right upper heart chamber (right atrium).

Symptoms

Tricuspid regurgitation may not cause any symptoms if the patient does not have . If pulmonary hypertension and moderate to severe tricuspid regurgitation exist together, the following symptoms may result:

Signs and tests

The health care provider may detect abnormalities when when gently pressing with the hand (palpating) on your chest. The doctor may also feel a pulse over your liver. The physical exam may reveal liver and spleen swelling.

Treatment

Treatment may not be needed if there are few or no symptoms. Hospitalization may be required for diagnosis and treatment of severe symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

Treatment of any underlying conditions, especially high blood pressure in the lungs and swelling of the right lower heart chamber, may correct the disorder. Surgical valve repair or replacement usually provides a cure. However, persons with severe tricuspid regurgitation that cannot be corrected may have a poor prognosis.

Review

Issam Mikati, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine. Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/4/2010

Heart, section through the middle
Heart, front view
Tricuspid Regurgitation
Tricuspid Regurgitation

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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