Tricuspid valve disease

Curr Probl Cardiol. 2008 Feb;33(2):47-84. doi: 10.1016/j.cpcardiol.2007.10.004.


The normal tricuspid valve anatomy and function have several dissimilarities to the corresponding mitral valve in the left heart, in part, based on lower pressures in the right heart chambers. The functional abnormalities resulting from tricuspid valve disease are classified as primary and secondary. Primary valve disease is any associated intrinsic valve pathology. The list of responsible conditions includes congenital, rheumatic, infective endocarditis, carcinoid heart disease, toxic effects of chemicals, tumors, blunt trauma, and myxomatous degeneration. The secondary tricuspid valve disease does not involve intrinsic anatomic abnormalities of the valve apparatus, aside from tricuspid annular dilation secondary to right ventricular dilation and dysfunction. The most common cause of tricuspid valve disease is secondary to left heart disease, either myocardial, valvular, or mixed. Although bedside diagnosis of advanced tricuspid valve disease is feasible, echocardiography provides valuable clues to the presence and severity of tricuspid valve stenosis and/or regurgitation with considerable accuracy. The tricuspid regurgitation signal using Doppler techniques is utilized for estimation of right ventricular systolic pressure, which, in the absence of right ventricular outflow obstruction, corresponds to pulmonary arterial systolic pressure. This is clinically useful since nearly 80 to 90% of patients exhibit some degree of tricuspid regurgitation. The treatment of tricuspid valve disease is guided by underlying etiology and pathology. Tricuspid valve repair is increasingly advocated for patients with advanced tricuspid regurgitation, especially when combined with surgery on the left heart pathology. Primary tricuspid valve disease is often treated by surgical approach specific to the underlying pathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / etiology
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Tricuspid Valve* / anatomy & histology