Tricuspid valve disease is a problem with the valve between the heart’s right atrium and right ventricle. The valve may leak (regurgitation), be stiff or narrow (stenosis) or be formed incorrectly at birth (atresia). Over time, it can cause symptoms and damage the heart. Treatment ranges from monitoring to medications to surgery.
Tricuspid valve disease is a condition that occurs when the valve between the two right heart chambers doesn’t function properly.
The tricuspid valve is one of four heart valves that help blood flow in the right direction. The tricuspid valve is between the right upper heart chamber (atrium) and the right lower heart chamber (ventricle). Blood flows from the right ventricle to your lungs, where it picks up oxygen for the rest of your body.
If the tricuspid valve doesn’t work properly, you may need monitoring or valve repair or replacement.
There are three kinds of tricuspid valve disease:
Mild tricuspid valve disease may not cause any symptoms or problems. But moderate to severe cases can enlarge the heart and cause permanent damage over time.
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Several things can cause tricuspid valve disease, including:
The signs and symptoms of tricuspid valve disease vary. People with mild cases might have no signs at all. Those with moderate to severe cases might have noticeable tricuspid valve disease symptoms, such as:
To diagnose tricuspid valve disease, a healthcare provider will conduct a physical exam, which will involve:
If they suspect that you have a heart condition, they may refer you to a cardiologist or order some tests:
Based on your test results and symptoms, your healthcare provider will recommend a treatment plan.
You may only need regular appointments and tests to monitor the condition (for example, every six months or once a year).
Your healthcare provider may recommend certain medications to ease the symptoms or prevent complications:
Advanced or severe cases may require tricuspid valve surgery to repair or replace the valve.
In many cases, you can’t prevent tricuspid valve disease. But if you have a condition that may cause it, seek treatment and follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
The outlook with tricuspid valve disease is generally good. Many people manage with regular follow-up appointments and medications. When needed, surgical repair or replacement usually corrects the condition.
But people with severe, untreated cases often have a poor prognosis, including:
People with tricuspid valve disease are at risk for endocarditis (heart valve infection). You should take certain steps to protect yourself:
If you have tricuspid valve disease, consider asking your healthcare provider the following questions:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Tricuspid valve disease is a heart condition involving one of the four heart valves. The tricuspid valve may be too stiff or may leak, possibly causing symptoms and heart damage. If you’re experiencing signs like general fatigue, weakness, swelling or fluttering, talk to your primary care provider or a cardiologist. They may recommend monitoring the condition, medication to manage symptoms or surgery to repair or replace the valve.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/27/2022.
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