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?
Nearly all cases are caused 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. Tricuspid stenosis is rarely severe enough to require surgery.
This content was last reviewed on 02/18/13.