Tricuspid regurgitation . It is a disorder in which the tricuspid valve of the heart does not close properly, causing blood to flow back (leak) into the upper right chamber of the heart (atrium) when the lower right chamber contracts.
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- 1 Causes
- 2 Symptoms
- 3 Exams and tests
- 4 Treatment
- 5 Forecast
- 6 Complications
- 7 How to prevent
- 8 Sources
Tricuspid regurgitation can also worsen or be caused by valvulopathy on the left side of the heart, such as regurgitation and mitral stenosis. Other diseases can directly affect the tricuspid valve; the most common of these is rheumatic fever, which is a complication of untreated strep throat infections. Tricuspid regurgitation can be found in those with a type of congenital heart disease called Ebstein’s abnormality. Other rare causes of tricuspid regurgitation include:
- Carcinoid tumors, which secrete a hormone that damages the valve
- Marfan syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Another important risk factor for tricuspid regurgitation is the use of weight loss medications called “Fen-Phen” (phentermine and fenfluramine) or dexfenfluramine.
Tricuspid regurgitation may be asymptomatic if the patient does not have pulmonary hypertension. If pulmonary hypertension and moderate to severe tricuspid regurgitation coexist, the following symptoms may occur:
- Active pulsations in the neck veins
- Decreased urine output
- Fatigue, tiredness
- Generalized swelling
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
Exams and tests
The specialist doctor can detect abnormalities when you gently press with your hand (palpation) on the person’s chest and can also feel a pulse on the liver. Physical examination or medical check-ups may reveal swelling of the liver and spleen. Auscultation of the heart with a stethoscope reveals an abnormal murmur or noise. Also, there may be signs of fluid buildup in the abdomen. The enlargement of the right side of the heart can be seen on an ECG or echocardiogram. To measure blood pressures within the heart and lungs, a Doppler ultrasound or cardiac catheterization on the right side is used.
Treatment may not be needed if few or no symptoms are present, but hospitalization is required for diagnosis and treatment of severe symptoms. Bloating can be managed with medications (diuretics) that help flush fluids from the body. The underlying disorders must be identified and treated. Some people may need to have tricuspid valve repair or replacement surgery. When surgical treatment is performed, it is usually done as part of another procedure, most often mitral valve repair for mitral regurgitation.
Treatment of any underlying condition, especially pulmonary hypertension and inflammation of the lower right chamber of the heart, can correct the disorder. Usually, surgical repair or valvuloplasty cures the problem; however, people with severe, uncorrectable tricuspid regurgitation may have a poor prognosis.
- Worsening heart failure
- Lack of appetite
How to prevent
Timely treatment of disorders that may cause valve disease reduces the risk of tricuspid regurgitation. Strep infections should be treated promptly to avoid rheumatic fever. Any invasive procedure, including cleaning and dental work, can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream. Bacteria can infect a damaged mitral valve, causing endocarditis. The person should always tell the doctor and dentist if they have a history of heart valve disease or heart disease before treatment. Taking antibiotics before a dental procedure or other invasive procedures can decrease the risk of endocarditis