Problem: Tricuspid Valve Stenosis

Updated:Oct 5,2016
What's the problem?
stenosis diagram

What is tricuspid valve stenosis?

Tricuspid stenosis is a narrowing of the tricuspid valve opening. Tricuspid stenosis restricts blood flow between the upper and lower part of the right side of the heart, or from the right atrium to the right ventricle.

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 partially blocked. An enlarged atrium can affect the pressure and blood flow in the nearby chambers and veins.

It can also cause the right ventricle to shrink because the amount of blood entering from the right atrium is reduced. Eventually, less blood circulates through the lungs to get oxygen.

Who is at risk for tricuspid stenosis?

Many cases are caused by infective endocarditis or by rheumatic fever, which has become rare in North America. 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 (awareness of heartbeats), a fluttering discomfort in the chest, cold skin and fatigue. Medical management usually includes drug treatment and regular doctor exams. If severe enough, tricuspid stenosis may be treated with surgical repair or replacement.

This content was last reviewed May 2016.

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