What is it?

-Your heart is made up of four chambers. The two upper chambers are called the atria, and the two lower chambers are called the ventricles. Blood flows from the atria to the ventricles, and from the ventricles to the main arteries that supply blood to your body organs.
Valves are located between the atria and the ventricles, and between the ventricles and the main arteries, and they ensure that blood flows in one direction. The tricuspid valve is located between the right atrium and ventricle. Its role is to make sure blood flows in a forward direction from the right atrium to the ventricle.
Diseases of the valve include stenosis, regurgitation, or both.
Stenosis is a narrowing or stiffening of the valve, causing a disruption to the blood flow. Regurgitation happens when the valve doesn't close properly, causing back-flow of blood and fluid retention in your body.
Tricuspid valve disease can be caused by infective endocarditis, a dilated right ventricle, increased pressure through the tricuspid valve and congenital defects, trauma, carcinoid heart disease and more. If caused by a rheumatic heart disease it is usually accompanied by mitral or aortic valve disease.

-Rheumatic heart disease is a disease in which the heart valves are permanently damaged by rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that affects connective tissues, occurring after an immunological response to streptococcal infection such as strep throat or scarlet fever. As a result of the inflammation, the heart valves become scarred over time, which results in narrowing and leaking, damaging their function. Rheumatic fever is more common in children older than 5 years old, though it may occur at any age.

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Signs & symptoms

-Symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of the disorder. Many individuals with mild or moderate valve disorders don’t experience any symptoms. However, in more severe cases, signs and symptoms may include:
*Atrial fibrillation
* shortness of breath
*Neck discomfort
* fatigue
* chest pain

-Symptoms of rheumatic heart disease vary and usually begin 1-6 weeks after strep infection. Symptoms of rheumatic fever may include fever, swollen, tender, red, painful joints, nodules, lattice-like rash, usually on the chest, back and abdomen, shortness of breath, uncontrolled movements of arms, leg or facial muscles and weakness. Symptoms of rheumatic heart disease depend on the severity of valvular damage and may include shortness of breath, chest pain and swelling.


-your doctor will begin by listening to your heart with a stethoscope. They’ll listen for any heart rate abnormalities or abnormal sounds that might indicate a problem with your valve. Your doctor may also listen to your lungs to determine if there’s fluid buildup and check your body for signs of water retention. Your doctor may also order an echocardiogram - This is an ultrasound of the heart that tells your doctor about the size and shape of your heart, the pumping action of your heart and the function of the valves.
Other tests that may be used to diagnose or evaluate heart valve disorders include the following:
ECG, chest X-ray, stress test, MRI scan and Cardiac catheterization.

-Diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease requires a proof of previous infection with strep- by a throat culture or blood test. On physical examination, a murmur and a rub may be heard. An echocardiogram, ECG, chest X-ray, and cardiac MRI will also help to perform a diagnosis.


-Treatments for heart valve disorders depend on the severity of the disorder and symptoms. Treatment options include:
* lifestyle changes
* Medications that control blood pressure, heart rate and blood flow such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and CCB, as well as diuretics to get rid of excess fluid.
* Surgical repair or replacement of the valve, via catheterization or an open surgery.
It is important to get treated for endocarditis prevention.

-Treatment of rheumatic heart disease depends on the location of the damage. A surgery to repair or replace the heart valves may be performed. The best way to treat rheumatic heart disease is by prevention with antibiotics for strep infection. After having rheumatic fever, people are given antibiotics, sometimes for life, to prevent recurring infection. For reducing inflammation, aspirin, steroids and non-steroidal medicines may be given.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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