Tricuspid Stenosis

Tricuspid stenosis (TS) is a valvular defect that obstructs blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure from the right atrium to the right ventricle during diastole. This condition most commonly results from rheumatic heart disease or a congenital defect, and is usually found in conjunction with other valvular disease. A mid-diastolic murmur is best heard at the lower left sternal border. Mild TS may be asymptomatic or present with systemic venous congestion due to increased right atrial and venous pressures. Echocardiography can establish the diagnosis. Treatment focuses on heart failure management, and surgery is reserved for severe disease.

Last update:

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Table of Contents

Share this concept:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

Overview

Definition and epidemiology

Tricuspid stenosis (TS) is the narrowing of the tricuspid valve, which obstructs the flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure of blood from the right atrium to the right ventricle, resulting in a transvalvular gradient.

  • Rare
    • < 1% of the population in the United States
    • Approximately 3% worldwide (more prevalent in areas with a high incidence of rheumatic fever Rheumatic fever Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) is an autoimmune inflammatory process that usually follows Streptococcal pharyngitis. Acute rheumatic fever usually occurs 2-4 weeks after an untreated infection and affects the heart, skin, joints, and nervous system. Rheumatic Fever)
  • More common in women
  • Usually not seen as an isolated condition; most commonly associated with mitral stenosis Mitral stenosis Mitral stenosis (MS) is the narrowing of the mitral valve (MV) orifice, leading to obstructed blood flow from the left atrium (LA) to the left ventricle (LV). Mitral stenosis is most commonly due to rheumatic heart disease. Mitral stenosis leads to impaired LV diastolic filling, increased LA pressure, and LA dilation. Mitral Stenosis and tricuspid regurgitation Tricuspid regurgitation Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) is a valvular defect that allows backflow of blood from the right ventricle to the right atrium during systole. Tricuspid regurgitation can develop through a number of cardiac conditions that cause dilation of the right ventricle and tricuspid annulus. A blowing holosystolic murmur is best heard at the left lower sternal border. Tricuspid Regurgitation

Etiology

  • Inflammatory or systemic disease
    • Rheumatic fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever (most common cause) 
    • Infective endocarditis Endocarditis Endocarditis is an inflammatory disease involving the inner lining (endometrium) of the heart, most commonly affecting the cardiac valves. Both infectious and noninfectious etiologies lead to vegetations on the valve leaflets. Patients may present with nonspecific symptoms such as fever and fatigue. Endocarditis
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus Systemic lupus erythematosus Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory condition that causes immune-complex deposition in organs, resulting in systemic manifestations. Women, particularly those of African American descent, are more commonly affected. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Libman-Sacks)
  • Congenital
    • Tricuspid valve atresia
    • Ebstein’s anomaly (atypical presentation)
  • Malignancy
    • Carcinoid syndrome Carcinoid syndrome Carcinoid tumors are small, well-differentiated, slow-growing neuroendocrine tumors (NET). Carcinoid syndrome describes the signs and symptoms associated with unregulated vasoactive hormone production by neuroendocrine tumors. Carcinoid tumors are most commonly found in the GI and bronchopulmonary tracts. Carcinoid Tumors and Syndrome
    • Tumors of the right heart may cause a functional TS (valve is not affected, but blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure is obstructed by the tumor).
  • Iatrogenic
    • Injury from cardiac procedures leading to fibrosis of the valve:
      • Pacemaker lead placement
      • Endomyocardial biopsy
    • Radiation therapy

Pathophysiology

  • Obstruction of blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure from the right atrium to the right ventricle → diastolic pressure gradient → increased blood volume in the right atrium → increased mean right atrial pressure → systemic venous congestion
  • Transvalvular gradient will increase with inspiration and decrease with expiration.
  • In severe TS, cardiac output will be reduced at rest and will not increase with exercise.
  • Low cardiac output prevents elevation of right ventricular, pulmonary artery, and left atrial pressures: may mask the signs and symptoms of concurrent mitral stenosis Mitral stenosis Mitral stenosis (MS) is the narrowing of the mitral valve (MV) orifice, leading to obstructed blood flow from the left atrium (LA) to the left ventricle (LV). Mitral stenosis is most commonly due to rheumatic heart disease. Mitral stenosis leads to impaired LV diastolic filling, increased LA pressure, and LA dilation. Mitral Stenosis
Tricuspid stenosis

Diseased valve is obstructing blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure out of the right atrium.

Image by Lecturio.

Clinical Presentation

Symptoms

  • Mild or no dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea
  • Fatigue due to reduced cardiac output 
  • Abdominal discomfort or distension
  • Peripheral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema

Physical exam

  • Mid-diastolic murmur heard best at the left lower sternal border or over the xiphoid. 
    • Carvallo’s sign: 
      • Accentuation of the murmur during inspiration, leg Leg The lower leg, or just "leg" in anatomical terms, is the part of the lower limb between the knee and the ankle joint. The bony structure is composed of the tibia and fibula bones, and the muscles of the leg are grouped into the anterior, lateral, and posterior compartments by extensions of fascia. Leg raise, squatting, and exercise
      • Due to increased blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure across the valve
  • May hear an opening snap and widely split S1
  • Evidence of systemic venous congestion:
    • Jugular venous distension
    • Hepatomegaly
    • Hepatojugular reflux
    • Abdominal distension from ascites Ascites Ascites is the pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity that occurs due to an osmotic and/or hydrostatic pressure imbalance secondary to portal hypertension (cirrhosis, heart failure) or non-portal hypertension (hypoalbuminemia, malignancy, infection). Ascites
    • Peripheral edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema

Related videos

Diagnosis and Management

Diagnosis

  • Echocardiography (diagnostic modality of choice)
    • Thickening and/or distortion of the tricuspid valve
    • Limited leaflet mobility
    • Right atrium and inferior vena cava Inferior vena cava The venous trunk which receives blood from the lower extremities and from the pelvic and abdominal organs. Mediastinum and Great Vessels enlargement
    • Associated valvular and structural abnormalities
    • Doppler for estimation of the transvalvular gradient
  • Cardiac catheterization
    • Not required, but useful if there is diagnostic uncertainty from the clinical presentation and echo
    • Measures right atrial and ventricular pressures to calculate the pressure gradient
    • Evaluates cardiac output and valve area
  • Electrocardiogram Electrocardiogram An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart plotted against time. Adhesive electrodes are affixed to the skin surface allowing measurement of cardiac impulses from many angles. The ECG provides 3-dimensional information about the conduction system of the heart, the myocardium, and other cardiac structures. Normal Electrocardiogram (ECG)
    • Not diagnostic, but may raise suspicion during workup
    • Evidence of right atrial enlargement 
      • Tall P waves in leads II, III, and aVF 
      • Upright P wave in V1
    • Known mitral stenosis Mitral stenosis Mitral stenosis (MS) is the narrowing of the mitral valve (MV) orifice, leading to obstructed blood flow from the left atrium (LA) to the left ventricle (LV). Mitral stenosis is most commonly due to rheumatic heart disease. Mitral stenosis leads to impaired LV diastolic filling, increased LA pressure, and LA dilation. Mitral Stenosis + absent signs of right ventricular hypertrophy → should suspect TS

Management

  • Systemic venous congestion treatment:
    • Salt restriction
    • Fluid restriction
    • Diuretics
  • Treat underlying causes ( endocarditis Endocarditis Endocarditis is an inflammatory disease involving the inner lining (endometrium) of the heart, most commonly affecting the cardiac valves. Both infectious and noninfectious etiologies lead to vegetations on the valve leaflets. Patients may present with nonspecific symptoms such as fever and fatigue. Endocarditis, cardiac tumors).
  • Invasive interventions (reserved for severe, symptomatic stenosis):
    • Balloon valvotomy 
      • Percutaneous procedure to separate and stretch the valve leaflets to increase the valve opening
      • Preferred for high-risk patients
      • May worsen concurrent tricuspid regurgitation Tricuspid regurgitation Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) is a valvular defect that allows backflow of blood from the right ventricle to the right atrium during systole. Tricuspid regurgitation can develop through a number of cardiac conditions that cause dilation of the right ventricle and tricuspid annulus. A blowing holosystolic murmur is best heard at the left lower sternal border. Tricuspid Regurgitation
      • Vegetations, thrombi, and tumors are contraindications due to embolism risk.
    • Surgery
      • Valve repair
      • Valve replacement
Malignant rheumatic heart disease presenting as quadrivalvular stenosis

Transthoracic echocardiogram of apical 4-chamber view showing thickened and doming mitral valve and tricuspid valve in rheumatic heart disease

Image: “Transthoracic echocardiogram” by US National Library of Medicine. License: CC BY 2.0

Differential Diagnosis

  • Congestive heart failure Congestive heart failure Congestive heart failure refers to the inability of the heart to supply the body with normal cardiac output to meet metabolic needs. Echocardiography can confirm the diagnosis and give information about the ejection fraction. Congestive Heart Failure: results when the heart cannot maintain a normal cardiac output. Etiologies can include ischemic, structural, inflammatory, and valvular disease. Symptoms depend on the side of involvement but include dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, orthopnea, and edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema. Diagnosis is made by echocardiogram, and treatment involves diuretics and salt/fluid restriction. This condition can occur in conjunction with tricuspid stenosis and will be established by echocardiogram.
  • Cirrhosis Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is a late stage of hepatic parenchymal necrosis and scarring (fibrosis) most commonly due to hepatitis C infection and alcoholic liver disease. Patients may present with jaundice, ascites, and hepatosplenomegaly. Cirrhosis can also cause complications such as hepatic encephalopathy, portal hypertension, portal vein thrombosis, and hepatorenal syndrome. Cirrhosis: chronic disease of the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver marked by fibrosis of the parenchyma and impaired function. Symptoms include jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice, ascites Ascites Ascites is the pathologic accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity that occurs due to an osmotic and/or hydrostatic pressure imbalance secondary to portal hypertension (cirrhosis, heart failure) or non-portal hypertension (hypoalbuminemia, malignancy, infection). Ascites, hepatosplenomegaly, and edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema. Diagnosis is made based on liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver function test abnormalities and an ultrasound showing distorted hepatic architecture with portal hypertension Portal hypertension Portal hypertension is increased pressure in the portal venous system. This increased pressure can lead to splanchnic vasodilation, collateral blood flow through portosystemic anastomoses, and increased hydrostatic pressure. There are a number of etiologies, including cirrhosis, right-sided congestive heart failure, schistosomiasis, portal vein thrombosis, hepatitis, and Budd-Chiari syndrome. Portal Hypertension. Treatment includes management of the underlying cause, diuretics, and salt  restriction. Echo findings will help differentiate this condition from tricuspid stenosis.
  • Mitral regurgitation Mitral regurgitation Mitral regurgitation (MR) is the backflow of blood from the left ventricle (LV) to the left atrium (LA) during systole. Mitral regurgitation may be acute (myocardial infarction) or chronic (myxomatous degeneration). Acute and decompensated chronic MR can lead to pulmonary venous congestion, resulting in symptoms of dyspnea, orthopnea, and fatigue. Mitral Regurgitation: valve disorder where blood refluxes from the left ventricle to the left atrium during systole. Signs and symptoms are based on severity and can include exertional dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, fatigue, or edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema. Exam will be notable for a systolic murmur at the cardiac apex, and echocardiogram can establish the diagnosis and differentiate it from tricuspid stenosis. Treatment includes sodium restriction, diuretics, and surgery for severe cases.
  • Mitral stenosis: narrowing of the mitral valve, which results in obstruction of blood flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure from the left atrium to the left ventricle. Rheumatic heart disease is the most common cause. Patients may be asymptomatic or present with dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea. Exam may reveal a low-pitched, rumbling, diastolic murmur at the cardiac apex. Diagnosis is made by echocardiography and will differentiate this condition from tricuspid stenosis.
  • Tricuspid regurgitation: valve disorder allowing blood to reflux into the right atrium from the right ventricle during systole. Patients may be asymptomatic or present with signs and symptoms of systemic venous congestion. A holosystolic murmur at the left lower sternal border distinguishes this condition from tricuspid stenosis. Echocardiogram will establish the diagnosis. Management involves treating the underlying cause, sodium restriction, diuretics, and surgery for severe cases.

References

  1. Mancini, M.C. (2016). Tricuspid stenosis. In Lange, R.A. (Ed.), Medscape. Retrieved October 21, 2020, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/158604-overview
  2. Kasper, D.L., Fauci, A. S., Longo, D.L., Bruanwald, E., Hauser, S. L., Jameson, J.L., (2007). Harrison’s principles of internal medicine (16th edition.). New York: McGraw Hill Education.
  3. Peters, F. (2020). Tricuspid Stenosis. In Yeon, S. B. (Ed.), UpToDate. Retrieved October 23, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/tricuspid-stenosis

USMLE™ is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB®) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME®). MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). NCLEX®, NCLEX-RN®, and NCLEX-PN® are registered trademarks of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc (NCSBN®). None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Lecturio.

Study on the Go

Lecturio Medical complements your studies with evidence-based learning strategies, video lectures, quiz questions, and more – all combined in one easy-to-use resource.

Learn even more with Lecturio:

Complement your med school studies with Lecturio’s all-in-one study companion, delivered with evidence-based learning strategies.

User Reviews

0.0

()

¡Hola!

Esta página está disponible en Español.

🍪 Lecturio is using cookies to improve your user experience. By continuing use of our service you agree upon our Data Privacy Statement.

Details