Key Points about Tricuspid Valve Stenosis (TS)
- Tricuspid valve stenosis, or TS, occurs when the tricuspid valve has become narrowed.
- Diagnosis of TS is made with a physical exam and imaging tests.
- Treatment for this condition may include ongoing monitoring, medications or surgical procedures.
The tricuspid valve is located between your right ventricle and your right atrium, which are the two heart chambers located on the right-hand side of your body. When the tricuspid valve has become narrowed, this is known as tricuspid valve stenosis – or TS Due to TS, blood flow between the upper and lower right chambers of the heart is restricted.
Tricuspid valve stenosis causes
An infection such as endocarditis or rheumatic fever can cause TS. In rarer cases, TS can be caused by a congenital disability or a heart tumor.
Tricuspid valve stenosis risk factors
Factors that can increase your risk for developing tricuspid stenosis are:
- Congenital (present at birth) heart defect
- Rheumatic fever
- Tumor of the heart
Tricuspid valve stenosis symptoms
Symptoms of TS may include:
- Cold skin
- Heart palpitations, or fluttering
- Swelling in your legs
Tricuspid valve stenosis diagnosis
Your cardiologist may use one or more of the following tests to diagnose this condition:
- Complete physical exam. Your doctor will perform a comprehensive physical exam, including asking you questions about your personal and family health history.
- Imaging tests. Your doctor may order imaging tests – such as echocardiogram, electrocardiogram (ECG) or chest X-ray – to obtain detailed images of your heart and valves.
Tricuspid valve stenosis treatment
If you are diagnosed with tricuspid valve stenosis, treatment may include:
- Medication management. Your cardiologist may prescribe medications to help manage the complications of TS.
- Ongoing monitoring. If your condition is mild and not causing any complications, your cardiologist may recommend watchful monitoring through regular office visits and echocardiograms.
- Surgical procedure. If your TS is severe and is difficult to control with medication, you may need to undergo a surgical procedure to repair or replace the valve. The replacement valve may be biologic (made from animal or human material) or mechanical (made from surgical plastic or metal).
When to seek care
If you experience any of these symptoms, start by voicing your concerns and symptoms to your primary care provider. From there, your doctor may suggest seeing a cardiologist for more specialized treatment.