Idiopathic annular dilation: a rare cause of isolated severe tricuspid regurgitation.
The management of patients with severe tricuspid regurgitation (TR) requires the clinician to clarify the mechanism of regurgitation. Primary disorders of the tricuspid valve, either congenital or acquired, may be readily identified by echocardiography. Severe TR most often results from left-sided heart disease and secondary pulmonary hypertension. Cardiomyopathic processes may also cause right ventricular failure and functional TR. We report three patients with severe TR due to idiopathic annular dilation. The tricuspid valves were otherwise normal on surgical inspection, and the pulmonary pressures were not significantly elevated. Each patient was aged over 65 years and had chronic atrial fibrillation with preserved left ventricular systolic function. Surgical treatment was associated with marked clinical improvement. Clinicians should recognize this unusual but treatable cause of right-sided congestive heart failure.
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