Background: Tricuspid stenosis is a part of the chronically rheumatic heart. Although rare, when tricuspid stenosis does occur, it occurs in the setting of coexistent mitral and aortic valve disease. The natural course of patients with severe tricuspid stenosis is not well defined. The aim of this study is to present close follow-up of patients with chronic rheumatic heart disease and severe tricuspid stenosis.
Methods and results: We retrospectively studied 13 patients (11 women and 2 men) with severe tricuspid stenosis who were followed closely for 6 to 31 years. The mean tricuspid pressure gradient ranged from 3 to 9 mm Hg. Twelve patients underwent surgery for mitral and/or aortic valve lesions without complications. Concomitant tricuspid valve surgery was performed on six patients: two De Vega procedures, two Kay plications, and two implantations of Carpentier rings. All these also had leaflet commissurotomy. After surgery, the mean tricuspid gradient decreased in three patients, did not change in two, and increased in one. All 13 patients were treated with diuretics, digoxin, warfarin, and spirinolactone or ACE inhibitors. On their last follow-up visit, every patient had increased jugular venous pressure. Hepatomegaly was found in 6 of 13, leg edema in 4 of 13, and ascites in 1 of 13.
Conclusions: Most tricuspid stenos patients are women with severe mitral and aortic valve disease. After successful repair of the mitral or aortic valve, and regardless of the type of tricuspid valve surgery, severe tricuspid stenosis was found to be very well tolerated by all the patients over many years of follow-up.