Tricuspid Valve Regurgitation
Tricuspid valve regurgitation can be described as a kind of heart valve disorder where the valve that connects the two right chambers of the heart (right ventricle, and the right atrium) isn’t closing correctly. In the result, blood leaks backwards to the right upper chamber (right atrium).
The person could be born with regurgitation of the tricuspid valve (congenital cardiac disease). In some cases, tricuspid valve regurgitation is a result of valve issues that are caused by health conditions.
The condition is mild and might not be a cause of symptoms, and may not require medical treatment. In the event that the issue is serious and is causing symptoms and signs treatment or surgery could be required.
Tricuspid valve regurgitation typically does not cause symptoms or signs until the condition becomes serious. The condition can be identified through tests to determine the cause.
The signs and signs and symptoms of tricuspid valve regurgitation can be:
- Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
- The neck is pulsing
- Breathlessness during activity
- The belly area is swelling (abdomen), neck veins, or legs
When should you seek medical help?
Set up an appointment with your medical professional if feel tired easily or feel short of breath when doing exercise. Your health care provider can recommend you to a physician who is trained in heart issues (cardiologist).
To better understand the reasons behind regurgitation of the tricuspid valve might be beneficial to know what the function of your heart as well as valves work.
The typical heart is comprised of four chambers. The two chambers in the upper (atria) are filled with blood. Lower chambers (ventricles) are used to pump blood. Four valves are opened and closed to ensure that blood flows in the right direction. These valves in the heart are:
- Aortic valve
- Mitral valve
- Tricuspid valve
- Valve for the pulmonary artery
The tricuspid valve lies between the two chambers on the right. The tricuspid valve comprises the three flaps of tissues (called cusps or leaflets). The valve flaps open to allow blood circulate from the right upper chamber (right atrium) to the lower right chamber (right ventricle). The valve flaps are then closed tight to stop blood from moving backwards.
Regurgitation of the tricuspid valve, the valve that closes the tricuspid doesn’t seal completely. This causes blood leaks backwards into the left atrium.
Regurgitation of the Tricuspid valve can cause:
- Heart defects are evident in the womb (congenital heart problems). Some congenital heart defects can alter the form and functioning of the valve tricuspid. Tricuspid valve regurgitation in infants is typically due to a very rare heart defect known as Ebstein anomaly. In this case the tricuspid valve can be not properly formed and lies lower than the normal right ventricle.
- Genetic conditions. Marfan syndrome is an autoimmune connective tissue disorder that is often caused by regurgitation of the tricuspid valve.
- Rheumatic fever. This complication of untreated strep thrush can cause damage to the tricuspid valve, as well as the other valves in your heart, leading to valve regurgitation later on in life.
- Ailment of heart’s lining (infective endocarditis). An infection of the heart’s lining can cause damage to the valve for tricuspids.
- Carcinoid syndrome. In this rare disease, tumors that form in the digestive tract and then spread to the lymph nodes or liver create a hormone-like substance which could cause damage to heart valves, mostly the tricuspid and the pulmonary valves.
- The chest injury (trauma). Experiencing chest trauma like during a car crash, could cause injury that causes regurgitation of the tricuspid valve.
- Pacemaker and cardiac wires for devices. Tricuspid valve regurgitation can occur during the installation or removal or defibrillator wiresthat cross the valve.
- The heart muscles (endomyocardial) biopsy. In this procedure the small portion of the heart’s muscle is removed and analyzed for indications of infection or inflammation. Damage to the valves can occur in this biopsy.
- Radiation therapy. Receiving radiation to the chest, as during treatment for cancer, could affect the tricuspid valve, and result in regurgitation of the tricuspid valve.
A variety of factors can increase the chance that tricuspid valve regurgitation occurs for example:
- Congenital heart defects, such as Ebstein anomaly
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Blood pressure that is high (hypertension)
- The blood pressure of the lung (pulmonary hypertension)
- Heart infections like rheumatic fever, infective endocarditis
- Radiation therapy to the chest area
- The use of certain stimulants as well as drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease as well as migraines
- The heart muscle is weak (cardiomyopathy)
Potentially serious complications associated with regurgitation of the tricuspid valve could be:
- Atrial fibrillation (A-fib). A few people with severe tricuspid valve regurgitation may suffer from A-fib A common heart rhythm disorder that is common.
- Heart Failure. Severe tricuspid valve regurgitation can lead to pressure to increase within the lower right chamber (ventricle). The right ventricle could grow and shrink as time passes and eventually lead the heart to fail.
Tricuspid valve regurgitation may occur in a silent manner. When children are affected, the condition is not diagnosed until later in life. Tricuspid valve regurgitation could be detected through imaging studies of the heart are performed in other ways.
If your healthcare provider believes that you be suffering from tricuspid valve dysfunction, different tests are performed in order to verify the diagnosis as well as to determine the reason and extent. Test results will help your doctor create a suitable treatment plan.
Echocardiograms use sound waves to create images of the heart moving. The test will reveal the structure of the heart , the heart valves as well as how blood moves through the heart.
Tests to determine regurgitation of the tricuspid valve could consist of:
- Echocardiogram. This is the principal test used to determine regurgitation of the tricuspid valve. Echocardiograms use sound waves to produce precise images of the heart’s beating. The test will reveal the heart’s structure and heart valves, which includes the tricuspid valve as well as circulation of blood throughout the heart’s areas.A standard echocardiogram, known as an transthoracic echocardiogram, produces photographs of the heart with an instrument called transducer, which is gently moved over the skin on the chest. If you require more detailed images and your doctor might recommend a transesophageal echocardiogram. In this procedure, an elastic tube that contains the transducer is placed down your throat, and then into the tube that connects your mouth and stomach (esophagus). Since the esophagus is located close to the heart, this kind of echocardiogram offers more information about the heart and its valves.
- Cardiac MRI . Radio waves and magnetic fields are used to create precise images of the heart. A cardiac MRI It is possible to assess the degree of regurgitation in the tricuspid valve and determine the dimensions and functions of the lower right heart chamber (right ventricle).
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). This quick and painless test evaluates how the heart’s electrical activities are regulated. These sticky patch (electrodes) can be placed over the chest, and often the legs and arms. Wires connect the electrodes computers that display the results of the test.
- Chest Xray. A chest X-ray illustrates the state of the lungs and heart.
- Stress test for exercise. Different exercise tests are able to be conducted to determine how your heart functions in the course of physical exercise. You can walk on a treadmill, or ride on a stationary bike, while your heart rate as well as blood pressure and breathing are being monitored. If you’re not able to exercise, medications that simulate the effects of exercising on your heart could be prescribed.
- The procedure of cardiac catheterization. Rarely, cardiac catheterization is performed to find out the cause of regurgitation of the tricuspid valve, and also to assist in deciding on the best treatment.In this process the doctor inserts an extremely thin, long tubing (catheter) into the blood vessel, typically in the groinarea, and leads it towards the heart by using an X-ray. A specific dye is injected through the catheter shows the flow of blood in the heart and blood vessels, and valves.
Treatment for tricuspid valve regurgitation is contingent on the root cause and severity of the condition. The objectives of treatment include ¹:
- Reduce the signs and symptoms
- Beware of the possibility of complications
- Improve the quality of life
If you are experiencing moderate tricuspid valve regurgitation it is unlikely that you require regular examinations. For more serious regurgitation, you might require regular visits to check your condition.
If the tricuspid valve is damaged caused by an underlying condition or a congenital heart defect you may require medications or a catheter procedure and surgery for repair or replacement of the valve.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to manage symptoms or address an underlying condition which causes regurgitation of the tricuspids. The medications may include:
- The use of drugs to remove extra bodily fluids (diuretics)
- Medicines that control the irregularity of heartbeats (anti-arrhythmics)
- Other medications to treat or manage heart failure
Other procedures or surgeries
Certain people suffering from regurgitation of the tricuspid valve could require an operation to replace or repair the valve. The repair or replacement of valves can be performed as open heart procedure or as a minimally-invasive heart operation. Sometimes, tricuspid valve problems could be fixed using a catheter-based treatment.
A medical professional might recommend the repair or replacement of tricuspid valve surgery in the following situations:
- You suffer from serious tricuspid valve regurgitation that is accompanied by the symptoms or signs
- There is an increase (enlargement) within the heart without signs or symptoms.
- If you suffer from regurgitation of your tricuspid valve, and you require heart surgery to treat another reason, such as mitral valve disease
Other procedures or surgeries to treat regurgitation of the tricuspid valgus includes:
- Repair of the Tricuspid valve. Tricuspid valve repair is usually performed with open heart surgery. Repairs can include repair of tears or holes in the valve, shaping or removing tissue to aid in making the valve close more securely and separating the valve flaps (leaflets) or providing support to the base or the roots.Cone surgery is kind of valve repair surgery that is used for treating tricuspid regurgitation those suffering from Ebstein anomaly, which is a birth defect in the heart. The surgeon removes the leaflets which seal the tricuspid valve and the heart muscle underneath. The leaflets are then turned and then reattached.The repair of the Tricuspid valve is essential to preserve the function of the heart. It can also reduce the likelihood of having to make the long-term use of blood thinners.
- Replacement of the tricuspid valve. If the tricuspid valve isn’t repairable the surgeon can take out the damaged or diseased valve to replace with a valve made of mechanical material or a valve made of cow or pig tissues (biological tissue valve).If you’ve got an electronic valve that is not functioning, you’ll have to use blood thinners throughout your the rest of your life to avoid blood clots. But, biological valves are susceptible to breaking in time, and eventually, be replaced. Together you and your healthcare provider will discuss the benefits and risks of each kind of heart valve in order to decide the most suitable one for your needs.
- The procedure for a catheter. If you have an underlying biological tissue tricuspid valve which isn’t functioning, a catheterization procedure can be performed instead of open-heart surgery in order to fix the valve. The surgeon inserts a small, hollow tubular (catheter) into an existing vein, and directs it into the tricuspid valve with the aid of X-rays. The replacement valve is inserted through the catheter and into the biological valve.
- Others techniques. If tricuspid valve regurgitation causes heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) catheter ablation or another type of open-heart surgery known as the maze procedure can be performed to stop abnormal heart signals that cause irregular heartbeats.
Lifestyle changes and risk factor modification
Your physician might suggest that you adopt some lifestyle adjustments in order to enhance your health as well as treat tricuspid valve regurgitation for example:
- A heart-healthy diet is recommended. Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains and protein that is lean. Avoid trans fats as well as salt, sugar along with refined and processed grains.
- Exercise. Exercise can help improve your heart health. But, consult your physician prior to beginning your exercise program, particularly in case you’re considering participating in sports that are competitive. The quantity and kind of exercises your doctor suggests for you could depend on your medical condition in the event of other heart valve issues and if the condition is caused by any other condition.
- Avoid heart attacks. If you have been through a replacement of your heart valve or repaired, your physician might recommend taking antibiotics prior to your dental procedure to prevent infection of the heart’s internal wall (infective endocarditis). Consult your doctor for advice on the need for antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
- Prepare yourself for the birth. If you have regurgitation of your tricuspid valve and you’re contemplating being pregnant, consult your healthcare provider first. If you’re suffering from severe tricuspid valve regurgitation you’ll require monitoring by a specialist in heart diseases (cardiologist) and an experienced medical team that is skilled in treating women suffering from heart valve issues during pregnancy.If you have tricuspid valve dysfunction caused by an inherited heart condition like Ebstein anomaly, it is important be examined by a physician who is trained in congenital heart diseases.
- Check in with your physician frequently. Schedule regular checkups with your primary care physician or cardiologist provider. Tell your health care provider be aware of some changes to your health or symptoms.