Tricuspid valve regurgitation after heart transplantation
Authors: Murray H. Kwon, Richard J. Shemin
Tricuspid valve regurgitation (TVR) in the orthotopic heart transplant (OHT) recipient is quite common and has varied clinical sequelae. In its severest forms, it can lead to right-sided failure symptoms indistinguishable from that seen in native heart TVR disease. While certain implantation techniques are widely recognized to reduce the risk of TVR in the cardiac allograft, concomitant tricuspid annuloplasty, while having advocates, is not currently accepted as a routinely established adjunct. Decisions to surgically correct TVR in the OHT recipient must be made carefully, as certain clinical scenarios have high risk of failure. Like in the native heart, anatomic etiologies typically have the greatest chances for success compared to functional etiologies. While repair options have been utilized, there is emerging data to support replacement as the more durable option. While mechanical prostheses are impractical in the heart transplant recipient, biologic valves offer the advantage of continued access to the right ventricle for biopsies in addition to acceptable durability in the low pressure system of the right side.