Tricuspid Valve Regurgitation


Tricuspid valve regurgitation may occur at birth due to a congenital heart defect called Ebstein anomaly; however, the condition may not be diagnosed until adulthood. It may be discovered when heart imaging tests are done for other reasons.

The most common cause of tricuspid valve regurgitation is an enlarged lower heart chamber (right ventricle), which can result from certain conditions that cause an extra strain on this particular heart chamber, including the following:

  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure) can be due to a lung problem like a blood clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), connective tissues disease (such as scleroderma), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or sleep apnea
  • Problems with the other heart valves
  • Heart issues that cause reduced squeezing of the left side of the heart, such as left-sided heart failure

Other causes of tricuspid valve regurgitation can include the following:

  • Endocarditis – This condition occurs when the inner lining of the heart (endocardium) or the heart’s valves become infected by bacteria or other germs
  • Rheumatic fever – A rare progression of strep throat that leads to damage of the heart valves as the body produces antibodies to fight the strep infection
  • Carcinoid tumor – A type of neuroendocrine cancer that releases a hormone that damages the tricuspid valve
  • Trauma or injury to the chest
  • Marfan syndrome – A genetic connective tissue disorder
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – An autoimmune and inflammatory disease
  • Radiation therapy for cancer treatments
  • Past use of the diet drug “Fen-Phen” (fenfluramine and phentermine)