Proper tricuspid valve (TV) function is essential to unidirectional blood flow through the right side of the heart. Alterations to the tricuspid valvular components, such as the TV annulus, may lead to functional tricuspid regurgitation (FTR), where the valve is unable to prevent undesired backflow of blood from the right ventricle into the right atrium during systole. Various treatment options are currently available for FTR; however, research for the tricuspid heart valve, functional tricuspid regurgitation, and the relevant treatment methodologies are limited due to the pervasive expectation among cardiac surgeons and cardiologists that FTR will naturally regress after repair of left-sided heart valve lesions. Recent studies have focused on (i) understanding the function of the TV and the initiation or progression of FTR using both in-vivo and in-vitro methods, (ii) quantifying the biomechanical properties of the tricuspid valve apparatus as well as its surrounding heart tissue, and (iii) performing computational modeling of the TV to provide new insight into its biomechanical and physiological function. This review paper focuses on these advances and summarizes recent research relevant to the TV within the scope of FTR. Moreover, this review also provides future perspectives and extensions critical to enhancing the current understanding of the functioning and remodeling tricuspid valve in both the healthy and pathophysiological states.
Keywords: biaxial mechanical characterization; cardiovascular imaging; constitutive modeling; finite element modeling; fluid-structure interactions; functional tricuspid regurgitation; geometrical modeling; in-vitro experiments; isogeometric analysis (IGA); material anisotropy; mechanical characterization; sub-valvular components; the tricuspid valve.