Each year, millions of people are diagnosed with valve disease or a valve disorder. Valve disease occurs when the heart’s valves do not work correctly, causing the heart muscle to have to work harder to circulate the right amount of blood through the body. What is tricuspid valve disease? The tricuspid valve is located between the upper-right chamber (the right atrium) and the lower-right chamber (the right ventricle) of the heart and has three cusps, or flaps, that control the direction and flow of blood. When the right ventricle contracts, the tricuspid valve is supposed to pump blood forward into the lungs. If the valve does not close tightly, some of that blood leaks back into the heart's right atrium.
Valve disease can be caused by either regurgitation or stenosis:
What are the symptoms of tricuspid heart disease? People with tricuspid valve disease usually have no symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, they may include:
Many people can have symptoms of tricuspid regurgitation for years. If you have tricuspid regurgitation, you should see your doctor to find out if you have any underlying conditions that may contribute to the disease.
How is tricuspid valve disease diagnosed? Physicians at the St. Francis Heart Valve Center work closely as a team to diagnose tricuspid valve disease. Your physicians will discuss your symptoms, review your family medical history, conduct a physical examination and order several tests to diagnose tricuspid valve disease and to develop an appropriate individuals treatment plan.
Diagnostic tests may include: