The tricuspid valve sits between the right atrium (the heart’s upper chamber that stores deoxygenated blood) and the right ventricle (the heart’s bottom chamber where blood flows to the lungs). When blood is sent to the lungs to be oxygenated, the tricuspid valve opens, allowing blood to flow from the atrium into the ventricle. In addition, the valve prevents blood from flowing back into the atrium. Tricuspid valve disease occurs when the tricuspid valve is not working properly. This disease may be caused by an infection, high blood pressure, a congenital defect, an underlying condition or trauma to the heart.
Common tricuspid valve problems include:
- Tricuspid valve regurgitation: a problem that allows blood to leak back across the valve
- Tricuspid valve stenosis: a narrow or stiff opening that restricts blood flow
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