Tricuspid valve disease refers to damage to the tricuspid heart valve. This valve is located between the atrium (upper chamber) and the ventricle (lower pumping chamber) of the right side of the heart. The tricuspid valve has three cusps, or flaps, that control the direction and flow of blood.
The two main types of tricuspid valve disease are:
Rheumatic fever is the most common cause of tricuspid valve disease (especially stenosis). Other causes include:
A personal history of rheumatic fever may increase your chance of getting tricuspid valve disease.
In many cases, there are no symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, they may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may be alerted to tricuspid valve disease if you have a heart murmur.
Images may need to be taken to examine your heart. This can be done with:
Your heart's electrical activity may need to be measured. This can be done with electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG).
Your heart's activity during exercise may be measured. This can be done with a cardiac stress test.
If you have mild tricuspid valve disease, your condition will need to be monitored, but may not need treatment right away. When symptoms become more severe, treatments may include:
Medications may be prescribed to treat specific symptoms associated with tricuspid valve disease. These medications include:
If tricuspid valve disease is causing severe problems, surgery to repair or replace the valve may be required.
Tricuspid valve disease cannot be prevented. But, there are several things you can do to try to avoid some of the complications:
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Diseases of the tricuspid valve. Texas Heart Institute website. Available at: http://www.texasheartinstitute.org/HIC/Topics/Cond/vtricus.cfm. Updated October 2013. Accessed August 18, 2014.
Premedication (antibiotics). American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/p/Premedication-or-Antibiotics.aspx. Accessed August 18, 2014.
Tricuspid valve disease. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/disorders/valve/tricuspid.aspx. Updated November 2012. Accessed August 18, 2014.
Tricuspid valve disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 13, 2014. Accessed August 18, 2014.
Last reviewed June 2013 by Michael J. Fucci, DO; Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.