Tricuspid Regurgitation

Your mitral valve isn’t the only valve that can leak.

There are four valves controlling the flow of blood through your heart – the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid valves. While the mitral valve seems to get the most attention, you can experience problems with your other valves, too. The tricuspid valve separates the heart’s two right chambers, and when that valve doesn’t close tightly, blood flows backward into the upper chamber. Over time, this can weaken your heart and even result in heart failure.

Often, tricuspid regurgitation is only diagnosed when a patient is being tested for other conditions.

You usually won’t see any symptoms with tricuspid regurgitation until the condition is severe. It can be caused by any disorder that puts extra strain on the right ventricle, thereby enlarging it. Contributing conditions include pulmonary hypertension, disorders of the left side of the heart, and infective endocarditis. Treatment depends on the severity of your conditions and the underlying cause, and may include regular monitoring, medications, and in severe cases, surgery to repair or replace the affected valve.

Symptoms may include: 
• Fatigue or general weakness
• Declining exercise capacity
• Swelling in your abdomen, feet, legs or veins in your neck
• Decreased urine output
• Abnormal heart rhythms
• An enlarged liver
• Shortness of breath with activity

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