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What causes tricuspid regurgitation?

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Quick Answer

Dilation of the right ventricle is the primary cause of tricuspid regurgitation, which is a bulging of the right heart chamber that causes the tricuspid valve to work improperly, according to Mayo Clinic. Other causes include Ebstein's anomaly, carcinoid syndrome, rheumatic fever and congenital heart defects.

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Full Answer

Tricuspid regurgitation is a condition in which the tricuspid valve does not close properly, causing blood to flow back into the right atrium, as described by Healthline. The tricuspid valve separates the right ventricle and the right atrium. When the right ventricle works extra hard to pump blood from the heart to the lungs, it can become bigger, which dilates the tricuspid valve and causes tricuspid regurgitation.

Ebstein's anomaly occurs when the malformed tricuspid valve is displaced downward into the right ventricle, causing blood to leak into the right atrium. Tumors may also develop in the lungs or in the digestive system, causing carcinoid heart disease. This results in the scarring of the heart valves, interfering with the functions of the pulmonary valve and the tricuspid valve, as explained by Mayo Clinic.

A resulting complication of inadequately treated strep throat, rheumatic fever can affect the function of the tricuspid valve, causing tricuspid valve regurgitation in the future. Additionally, congenital or genetic heart defects as well as infective endocarditis, which is an infection of the lining of the heart, can damage the tricuspid valve, according to Mayo Clinic.

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