What is tricuspid valve stenosis?
Tricuspid stenosis is a narrowing of the tricuspid valve opening. Tricuspid stenosis restricts blood flow between the upper (atrium) and lower (ventricle) part of the right side of the heart.
What problems can result from untreated or advanced tricuspid valve stenosis?
After several years, the right atrium can become enlarged because blood flow through the narrow tricuspid valve opening is restricted. An enlarged atrium can affect the pressure and blood flow in the nearby chambers and veins.
The pressure in the right ventricle could be lower because the amount of blood entering from the right atrium is reduced. This could result in less blood circulating through the lungs to get oxygen.
Who's at risk for tricuspid stenosis?
Many cases are caused by infective endocarditis or by rheumatic fever (PDF)(link opens in new window), which has become rare in the United States. Rarely, tricuspid stenosis may be caused by birth defects or tumors of the heart.
What are the symptoms of tricuspid stenosis?
Symptoms are usually mild but include palpitations, a fluttering discomfort in the chest, swelling in the legs, cold skin and fatigue. Medical management usually includes drug treatment and regular echocardiograms to monitor the valve. If severe enough, tricuspid stenosis may be treated with surgical repair or replacement.