Background and aims of the study: Severe tricuspid regurgitation (TR) may develop late after mitral valve surgery without significant mitral stenosis, regurgitation and other causes of left heart failure. The study aim was to investigate severe isolated TR late after mitral valve surgery for rheumatic mitral valve disease.
Methods: A total of 208 patients who underwent mitral valve surgery (valve replacement in 121, commissurotomy in 62, valvuloplasty in 25) was investigated. The mean (+/-SD) follow up was 13+/-6 years. Severe isolated TR was defined clinically by elevated venous pressure, and echocardiographically by grade 4+ TR without significant mitral stenosis, regurgitation, other causes of left heart failure, pulmonary hypertension or rheumatic tricuspid valve.
Results: Severe isolated TR was identified in 30 patients (14%) at four to 24 years after mitral valve surgery. All patients had atrial fibrillation. Of these patients, 23 had medical treatment and seven had tricuspid valve surgery. Three of the medically treated patients were in NYHA class IV and died from multiple organ failure at three to seven years after severe TR was diagnosed. Among surgically treated patients, four were in NYHA class IV and had postoperative complications (one early death, one late death), while three NYHA class II/III patients had very few postoperative complications.
Conclusion: Severe isolated TR was detected in 14% of patients after mitral valve surgery. It is important to detect patients with progressive heart failure and to indicate earlier reoperation in order to prevent significant late mortality.