Condition 101 About Tricuspid Regurgitation

What is the definition of Tricuspid Regurgitation?

Blood that flows between different chambers of your heart must pass through a heart valve. These valves open up enough so that blood can flow through. They then close, keeping blood from flowing backward.

The tricuspid valve separates the right lower heart chamber (the right ventricle) from the right upper heart chamber (right atrium).

Tricuspid regurgitation is a disorder in which this valve does not close tight enough. This problem causes blood to flow backward into the right upper heart chamber (atrium) when the right lower heart chamber (ventricle) contracts.


What are the alternative names for Tricuspid Regurgitation?

Tricuspid insufficiency; Heart valve - tricuspid regurgitation; Valvular disease - tricuspid regurgitation

What are the causes for Tricuspid Regurgitation?

An increase in size of the right ventricle is the most common cause of this condition. The right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs where it picks up oxygen. Any condition that puts extra strain on this chamber can cause it to enlarge. Examples include:

  • Abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs which can come from a lung problem (such as COPD, or a clot that has traveled to the lungs) 
  • Other heart problem such as poor squeezing of the left side of the heart
  • Problem with the opening or closing of another one of the heart valves

Tricuspid regurgitation may also be caused or worsened by infections, such as:

  • Rheumatic fever
  • Infection of the tricuspid heart valve, which causes damage to the valve

Less common causes of tricuspid regurgitation include:

  • A type of heart defect present at birth called Ebstein anomaly.
  • Carcinoid tumors, which release a hormone that damages the valve.
  • Marfan syndrome.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Past use of a diet pill called "Fen-Phen" (phentermine and fenfluramine) or dexfenfluramine. The drug was removed from the market in 1997.

What are the symptoms for Tricuspid Regurgitation?

Mild tricuspid regurgitation may not cause any symptoms. Symptoms of heart failure may occur, and can include:

  • Active pulsing in the neck veins
  • Decreased urine output
  • Fatigue, tiredness
  • General swelling
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Weakness

What are the current treatments for Tricuspid Regurgitation?

Treatment may not be needed if there are few or no symptoms. You may need to go to the hospital to diagnose and treat severe symptoms.

Swelling and other symptoms of heart failure may be managed with medicines that help remove fluids from the body (diuretics).

Some people may be able to have surgery to repair or replace the tricuspid valve. Surgery is most often done as part of another procedure.

Treatment of certain conditions may correct this disorder. These include:

  • High blood pressure in the lungs
  • Swelling of the right lower heart chamber

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Tricuspid Regurgitation?

Surgical valve repair or replacement most often provides a cure in people who need an intervention.

The outlook is poor for people who have symptomatic, severe tricuspid regurgitation that cannot be corrected.

When should I contact a medical professional for Tricuspid Regurgitation?

Call your provider if you have symptoms of tricuspid regurgitation.

How do I prevent Tricuspid Regurgitation?

People with abnormal or damaged heart valves are at risk for an infection called endocarditis. Anything that causes bacteria to get into your bloodstream may lead to this infection. Steps to avoid this problem include:

  • Avoid unclean injections.
  • Treat strep infections promptly to prevent rheumatic fever.
  • Always tell your health care provider and dentist if you have a history of heart valve disease or congenital heart disease before treatment. Some people may need to take antibiotics before having a procedure.

Prompt treatment of disorders that can cause valve or other heart diseases reduces your risk of tricuspid regurgitation.


Carabello BA. Valvular heart disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 66.

Nishimura RA, Otto CM, Bonow RO, et al. 2017 AHA/ACC focused update of the 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2017;135(25):e1159-e1195. PMID: 28298458

Pelikka PA. Tricuspid, pulmonic, and multivalvular disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 70.

Rosengart TK, Anand J. Acquired heart disease: valvular. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 60.

Top Global Doctors For Tricuspid Regurgitation

Victoria Delgado
Victoria Delgado
Leiden, ZH, NL
Azeem M. Latib
Milan, IT
Philipp C. Lurz
Leipzig, SN, DE
Jorg Hausleiter
Munich, BY, DE
Georg Nickenig
Bonn, NW, DE

Latest Advances On Tricuspid Regurgitation

  • Condition: Enlarged Native Right Ventricular Outflow Tract (RVOT)
  • Journal: Anatolian journal of cardiology
  • Treatment Used: Edwards SAPIEN XT and SAPIEN 3 Valves
  • Number of Patients: 129
  • Published —
This study tested the safety and efficacy of using Edwards SAPIEN XT and SAPIEN 3 valves to treat patients with enlarged native RVOT.
  • Condition: Thalamic Stroke and Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)
  • Journal: BMJ case reports
  • Treatment Used: Open Heart Surgery using Cardiopulmonary Bypass, Closure of the Foramen, and Repair of the Tricuspid Valve
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report describes a patient that experienced a thalamic stroke and PFO after experiencing embolization of the Amplatzer PFO closure device.

Clinical Trials For Tricuspid Regurgitation

Clinical Trial
  • Status: Not yet recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Device
  • Participants: 15
  • Start Date: October 2021
Early Feasibility Study of the Cardiovalve System for Tricuspid Regurgitation
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Not yet recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Other, Procedure
  • Participants: 300
  • Start Date: February 2021
TRI-FR : Multicentric Randomized Evaluation of Tricuspid Valve Percutaneous Repair System (Clip for the Tricuspid Valve) in the Treatment of Severe Secondary Tricuspid Disorders