Clinical Outcome of Isolated Tricuspid Regurgitation in Patients with Preserved Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction and Pulmonary Hypertension

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The outcome of tricuspid regurgitation (TR) remains unclear because of heterogeneity of etiology and the contradictory results of outcome studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of TR in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) and normal left systolic function, stratified to patients with post- or precapillary PH.


In patients with no left valvar disease (isolated) functional TR, preserved left systolic function (ejection fraction ≥ 50%), and PH (systolic pulmonary pressure > 50 mm Hg), TR was assessed both qualitatively (grade) and semiquantitatively using the vena contracta method, and retrospective analysis of long-term outcomes was conducted. Patients with severe comorbid diseases were excluded.


The study included 245 patients (age 80.5 years, 37% men, ejection fraction 57%, all with pulmonary systolic pressure > 50 mm Hg). At least moderate to severe TR was diagnosed in 178 patients, and their outcomes were compared with those of 67 patients with the same characteristics and less than mild TR. At least moderate to severe TR was associated with lower survival, independent of all characteristics, right ventricular size or function, comorbidity, or pulmonary pressure (P = .03 for grade and P = .02 for vena contracta). Cox proportional-hazard analysis with interaction terms for TR severity and etiology of PH (post- vs precapillary) showed that the etiology of PH did not affect the association of TR with outcome (P = .90 for the interaction term).


At least moderate to severe isolated TR is independently associated with excess mortality in patients with preserved systolic function and PH, warranting heightened attention to diagnosis and grading. This is irrespective of etiology (pre- or postcapillary) of PH. Semiquantitative assessment of TR by vena contracta is an independent associate of outcome, superior to standard qualitative assessment.

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