Tricuspid Valve

Irregular Heartbeat and Difficulty Breathing May be Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency! Learn About the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency

Most people may have heard of mitral valve insufficiency, but they don’t know that the tricuspid valve in the heart may also be insufficient. Most patients will not feel any discomfort at first. Once the tricuspid valve insufficiency is severe, it may cause Symptoms such as irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath.

What are the causes of tricuspid valve insufficiency? What symptoms will occur? What examination and treatment methods should be used to improve the problem of tricuspid valve insufficiency? We will answer it completely in this article!

What is tricuspid valve insufficiency?

There are four valves in the human heart, including the aortic valve, mitral valve, tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve. They are all important structures that control the direction of blood flow. The tricuspid valve is composed of three thin tissue valves. Located between the two right ventricles, it is responsible for the normal flow of blood from the right atrium to the right ventricle. When the heart contracts, the tricuspid valve closes to prevent blood from flowing back. (Recommended reading: No signs of aortic stenosis? Learn about symptoms and treatment)

If there is a problem of tricuspid insufficiency, the tricuspid valve cannot completely close during heart contraction, causing blood to flow back into the right atrium, causing symptoms such as arrhythmia, abdominal or neck swelling, etc.

2 types of causes of tricuspid valve atresia

Generally speaking, the causes of tricuspid valve atresia can be divided into the following 2 types:

  1. Primary tricuspid insufficiency:
    It is a type of heart valve abnormality. If the tricuspid valve is congenitally defective or underdeveloped, it will cause primary tricuspid insufficiency.
  2. Secondary tricuspid valve atresia:
    Patients may suffer from tricuspid valve atresia due to congenital heart disease, Marfan syndrome, endocarditis, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever and other diseases.

6 common symptoms of tricuspid valve insufficiency

Patients with mild tricuspid valve damage usually do not experience obvious symptoms. However, as the condition worsens, and when the condition reaches moderate to severe severity, patients may have the following 6 symptoms:

  1. Arrhythmia
  2. Fatigue
  3. Shortness of breath during activity
  4. Swollen veins in the abdomen, ankles, or neck
  5. Neck pulse beats obviously
  6. Syncope

If tricuspid valve insufficiency is severe, complications such as stroke, pulmonary hydrops, rheumatic fever, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure may occur.

3 tests for diagnosing tricuspid valve insufficiency

The doctor will first ask about the medical history and use a stethoscope to confirm whether the patient has a heart murmur, and then further examine the patient through the following three methods:

  1. Echocardiography:
    Doctors will use Doppler ultrasound (commonly known as color ultrasound) or transesophageal echocardiography to obtain more detailed and accurate imaging to understand the condition of the tricuspid valve.
  2. Electrocardiography:
    If the patient has symptoms of arrhythmia, it can be discovered through electrocardiography.
  3. Chest X-ray:
    After being irradiated by an X-ray instrument, the structural changes in the tricuspid valve that occur when the tricuspid valve is incompetent and causes blood to flow backward can be seen.

Treatment methods for tricuspid insufficiency: drug treatment is the main method, and in the most severe cases, valve replacement is required.

Most asymptomatic patients with tricuspid regurgitation do not require treatment. If the patient has mild atresia, he or she may need to return for regular follow-up visits to monitor for worsening.

However, when patients experience uncomfortable symptoms or complications, most doctors will first treat them with medication. If they find that the insufficiency of atresia is becoming more and more serious, they may perform heart valve repair or replacement surgery to effectively cure the three conditions. The problem of cusp insufficiency.

  1. Medical treatement
    • Beta-blocker (β-Blocker):
      If the patient’s heart rate is too fast and tachycardia occurs, beta-blocker can slow down the heart rate.
    • Diuretics:
      Diuretics are often used in patients with pulmonary edema and limb edema, and can help remove water accumulated in the lungs.
    • Anticoagulants:
      For patients who are at risk for stroke, heart failure, or atrial fibrillation, doctors may use anticoagulants to prevent blood clots from forming.
  2. Surgical treatment

    If a patient’s tricuspid valve insufficiency cannot be effectively improved through drug treatment and the valve damage continues to worsen, doctors will give priority to repairing the patient’s valve rather than replacing it with an artificial valve.

    If an artificial valve needs to be replaced, doctors will use the following three surgeries:
    • Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve Repair
    • Open heart surgery
    • Minimally invasive surgery

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