Tricuspid Valve Stenosis

Tricuspid valve stenosis is caused by a narrowing of the tricuspid valve in the heart. The tricuspid valve prevents blood flow from the right ventricle from returning to the right atrium. As a result, the heart must work harder to send blood to the lungs and the rest of the body.

The tricuspid valve is one of four heart valves that help direct blood flow. The tricuspid valve connects the upper right heart chamber (atrium) to the lower right heart chamber (ventricle). The right ventricle sends blood to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen for the rest of your body.

Tricuspid valve stenosis, also known as tricuspid stenosis, is a narrowing of the tricuspid valve in the heart. The tricuspid valve is located between the right atrium (upper chamber of the heart) and the right ventricle (lower chamber of the heart) and prevents blood flow from the right ventricle from returning to the right atrium.

Types of Tricuspid Valve Disease

There are two primary forms of tricuspid valve disease that induce incorrect valve function:

  • When the flaps of the tricuspid valve become thick, rigid, or joined, tricuspid valve stenosis occurs. This results in a decreased blood flow between the atrium and ventricle and a constricted valve opening.
  • Tricuspid valve regurgitation occurs when the tricuspid valve does not seal tightly, allowing blood to flow backward into the right atrium. The most prevalent cause of regurgitation is a prolapsing valve, in which the valve flaps bulge back into the right atrium when the heart contracts.

Symptoms of Tricuspid Valve Stenosis

The most typical symptoms of tricuspid valve stenosis are fluttering discomfort in the neck and an erratic heartbeat.

Other signs of tricuspid stenosis include:

  • Cold skin
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath during activity
  • Enlarged liver

Causes of Tricuspid Valve Stenosis

These conditions increase the risk of developing tricuspid valve stenosis:

  • Congenital heart disease – if your child has Ebstein’s anomaly, tricuspid stenosis is more likely to develop.
  • If you experienced rheumatic fever as a child, you have an increased risk of developing tricuspid stenosis.
  • Other cardiac diseases, such as a history of heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, or pulmonary hypertension, may increase your chance of having valve disease in the future.

Complications of Tricuspid Valve Stenosis

In tricuspid valve stenosis, the right atrium enlarges while the right ventricle remains small, leading to hypertrophy of the heart.

Diagnosis of Tricuspid Valve Stenosis

Your doctor can identify tricuspid stenosis with a physical examination. Your physician may be able to detect tricuspid stenosis with a stethoscope by listening for a specific heart murmur.

  • Echocardiogram: The most common test used to confirm and assess tricuspid stenosis.
  • Electrocardiogram – can detect heart rhythm abnormalities, an indication of tricuspid valve stenosis.
  • Chest x-ray — will capture images of the heart to identify whether heart problems exist.

Treatment of Tricuspid Valve Stenosis

Mild to moderate tricuspid stenosis may not necessitate treatment and can be continuously monitored by your doctor.

If you have tricuspid stenosis and other severe valve stenosis, surgical valve repair or replacement is required to treat your condition.

These surgical procedures are used to treat tricuspid stenosis:

  • Balloon valvuloplasty – during this procedure a catheter with a deflated balloon is introduced into the damaged tricuspid valve, and the balloon is then inflated to expand the valve.
  • Tricuspid valve replacement – in severe cases, the tricuspid valve may be replaced by a tissue or mechanical valve.