Functional tricuspid regurgitation at the time of mitral valve repair for degenerative leaflet prolapse: the case for a selective approach

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011 Sep;142(3):608-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2010.10.042. Epub 2011 Feb 1.


Objectives: It is not clear whether clinically silent tricuspid valve regurgitation should be addressed at the time of mitral valve repair for severe mitral regurgitation due to leaflet prolapse. We examined the clinical and echocardiographic outcomes of patients with tricuspid regurgitation who underwent only mitral valve repair.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed records of patients undergoing mitral valve repair for isolated mitral valve prolapse who had coexistent tricuspid valve regurgitation during an 11-year period at our institution. Echocardiographic data were compared preoperatively, intraoperatively, and postoperatively at less than 1, 1 to 3, 3 to 5, and more than 5 years.

Results: In 699 patients who underwent mitral valve repair for severe mitral regurgitation, mean age was 60.4 years and 459 (66%) were male. At the time of mitral valve repair, tricuspid valve regurgitation was grade 3 or more in 115 (16%) patients and less than grade 3 in 584 (84%) patients. After mitral valve repair, overall grade of tricuspid valve regurgitation decreased significantly within the first year (P = .01). In patients with grade 3 regurgitation or more, the grade decreased at dismissal and until the third year (P < .001). Female sex, preoperative atrial fibrillation, and diabetes mellitus were independent risk factors for increased tricuspid valve regurgitation with time; preoperative regurgitation of grade 3 or more independently predicted decreased grade with time. Only 1 patient required tricuspid reoperation 4.5 years after mitral repair.

Conclusions: Clinically silent nonsevere tricuspid valve regurgitation in patients with degenerative mitral valve disease is unlikely to progress after mitral valve repair. Tricuspid valve surgery is rarely necessary for most patients undergoing repair of isolated mitral valve prolapse.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / epidemiology
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / etiology
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / surgery*
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse / complications
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse / epidemiology
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency / epidemiology*
  • Ultrasonography