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Tricuspid regurgitation is a disorder in which the heart's tricuspid valve does not close properly, causing blood to flow backward (leak) into the right upper heart chamber (atrium) when the right lower heart chamber (ventricle) contracts.
The tricuspid valve separates the right lower heart chamber (the right ventricle) from the right upper heart chamber (right atrium).
The most common cause of tricuspid regurgitation is swelling of the right ventricle. Such swelling may be a complication of any disorder that causes failure of the right ventricle.
Tricuspid regurgitation may also be caused by or made worse by valve disease on the left side of the heart such as mitral regugitation and mitral stenosis.
Other diseases can directly affect the tricuspid valve. The most common of these is rheumatic fever, which is a complication of untreated strep throat infections.
Tricuspid regurgitation may be found in those with a type of congenital heart disease called Ebstein's anomaly.
Other infrequent causes of tricuspid regurgitation include:
Another important risk factor for tricuspid regurgitation is use of the diet medications called "Fen-Phen" (phentermine and fenfluramine) or dexfenfluramine.
Karchmer AW. Infectious endocarditis. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007:chap. 63.
Nishimura RA, Carabello BA, Faxon DP, et al. ACC/AHA 2008 Guideline update on valvular heart disease: focused update on infective endocarditis: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines endorsed by the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;52(8):676-685.
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