Background: Severe tricuspid regurgitation (TR) sometimes develops late after left-sided valve surgery without left heart failure, pulmonary hypertension or rheumatic tricuspid valve. The purpose of the present study was to investigate clinical characteristics and mechanisms of severe isolated TR late after left-sided valve surgery.
Methods and results: A total of 372 consecutive patients who underwent left-sided valve surgery between 1990 and 2003 and who were followed up with echocardiography for at least 5 years, were retrospectively investigated. The mean follow-up period was 9.4 years. Clinical background, preoperative and postoperative echocardiographic parameters were evaluated. Among the 372 patients, severe isolated TR was detected in 23 patients, which developed at a mean of 8.6 years after surgery. Twenty-two of 23 patients had undergone mitral valve surgery. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified the presence of preoperative atrial fibrillation and preoperative ejection fraction as independent determinants for the development of severe isolated TR. In patients with severe isolated TR, the tricuspid annular diameter and the right atrial area were already enlarged early after surgery and both of these increased prior to TR progression.
Conclusions: Severe isolated TR developing late after mitral valve surgery is not uncommon, thus it is important to recognize this disease entity. Annular dilatation was the main cause of isolated TR and serial echocardiographic data are important to detect progression of isolated TR and to assess its mechanisms.