Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Tricuspid Valve Disease

Tricuspid valve disease can be diagnosed with a noninvasive echocardiogram (ECHO), which uses high-frequency sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart chambers, heart valves and major blood vessels located near the heart.

Tricuspid stenosis

Tricuspid stenosis is most often caused by rheumatic fever, an inflammatory disease that may develop after an infection with Streptococcus bacteria, such as strep throat or scarlet fever. It usually takes two or more years after the rheumatic episode for the thickened valve to develop. Most patients do not have symptoms for 16 to 20 years after an episode of rheumatic fever.

Tricuspid valve insufficiency/regurgitation

Tricuspid valve insufficiency/regurgitation can have several causes, including:

  • Hypertension of the pulmonary circulation
  • Trauma
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Carcinoid (slow-growing tumor)
  • Tricuspid valve prolapse
  • Congenital causes (present at birth)


Meet the Tricuspid Valve Disease Team

Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is a nationally recognized destination for those who require highly specialized cardiovascular care.