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Tricuspid regurgitation is a disorder in which the tricuspid valve does not close tight enough. This problem causes blood to flow backward into the right upper heart chamber (atrium) when the right lower heart chamber (ventricle) contracts.

Causes

An increase in size of the right ventricle is the most common cause of this condition. The right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs where it picks up oxygen. Any condition that puts extra strain on this chamber can cause it to enlarge. Examples include:

  • Abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs which can come from a lung problem (such as COPD or a clot travelling to the lungs)
  • Poor squeezing of the left side of the heart
  • Problem opening or closing of another one of the heart valves

Tricuspid regurgitation may also be caused or worsened by infections, such as:

  • Rheumatic fever
  • Infection of the tricuspid heart valve, which causes damage to the valve

Symptoms

Mild tricuspid regurgitation may not cause any symptoms. Symptoms of heart failure may occur, and can include:

  • Active pulsing in the neck veins
  • Decreased urine output
  • Fatigue, tiredness
  • General swelling
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Weakness

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