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Concept: Right atrium


OPINION STATEMENT: Ebstein anomaly (EA) is a rare congenital heart defect that may not be detected until late in adolescence or adulthood. Since the original description in a 19-year-old laborer with severe tricuspid valve (TV) regurgitation in 1866, our understanding of this rare condition has increased to the recognition that it is an abnormality not only of the TV, but also of the right ventricle (RV). EA is the result of failure of delamination of the TV leaflets from the interventricular septum, resulting in adherence of the leaflets to the underlying myocardium. This results in a wide variety of abnormalities, including apical and posterior displacement of the dilated TV annulus; dilation of the “atrialized” portion of the RV; and fenestrations, redundancy, and tethering of the anterior leaflet of the TV. The malformed TV is usually regurgitant, but may rarely be stenotic. The clinical manifestations of EA in the adult depend on several factors, including the extent of TV leaflet distortion, degree of tricuspid regurgitation (TR), right atrial pressure, and presence of a right-to-left atrial level shunt. Over the past several decades, advances in diagnostic imaging and surgical techniques have contributed to our current management of this challenging congenital heart defect.

Concepts: Heart, Right ventricle, Ventricle, Right atrium, Tricuspid valve, Congenital heart defect, Congenital heart disease, Ebstein's anomaly


Due to the increased life expectancy and continual improvements in cardiological treatment options, diseases of the tricuspid valve, in particular tricuspid valve insufficiency will become increasingly more recognized as an interventional target. While tricuspid stenosis is rare and can be effectively treated with balloon valvuloplasty, no effective transcatheter approach to tricuspid regurgitation (TR) has yet been established. As the tricuspid annulus is a complex and highly dynamic structure that offers little resistance, orthotopic long-term fixation of transcatheter valves with the current techniques is challenging and has not yet been performed in human patients. Alternative treatment concepts include transcatheter caval valve implantation (CAVI) to address the regurgitation of blood into the caval veins, which has resulted in hemodynamic improvement and is currently undergoing further clinical investigation. Other interventional treatment concepts are aimed at tricuspid valve repair, e.g. by annular plication with the Mitralign™ device or the TriCinch™ system. In the medium-term it can be assumed that percutaneous systems and therapy options will become available for these indications whereby the functional and prognostic effects of these treatment procedures will be corroborated in the appropriate patient groups by corresponding studies.

Concepts: Heart, Right atrium, Tricuspid valve, Annulus, Abstraction, Tricuspid insufficiency, Regurgitation, Valvular heart disease


The acknowledgment of tricuspid regurgitation (TR) as a stand-alone and progressive entity, worsening the prognosis of patients whatever its aetiology, has led to renewed interest in the tricuspid-right ventricular complex. The tricuspid valve (TV) is a complex, dynamic and changing structure. As the TV is not easy to analyse, three-dimensional imaging, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans may add to two-dimensional transthoracic and transoesophageal echocardiographic data in the analysis of TR. Not only the severity of TR, but also its mechanisms, the mode of leaflet coaptation, the degree of tricuspid annulus enlargement and tenting, and the haemodynamic consequences for right atrial and right ventricular morphology and function have to be taken into account. TR is functional and is a satellite of left-sided heart disease and/or elevated pulmonary artery pressure most of the time; a particular form is characterized by TR worsening after left-sided valve surgery, which has been shown to impair patient prognosis. A better description of TV anatomy and function by multimodality imaging should help with the appropriate selection of patients who will benefit from either surgical TV repair/replacement or a percutaneous procedure for TR, especially among patients who are to undergo or have undergone primary left-sided valvular surgery.

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Medical imaging, Magnetic resonance imaging, Pulmonary artery, Right ventricle, Right atrium, Tricuspid valve


We had two cases of neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and intact atrial septum who had unique levoatriocardinal veins. Contrast-enhanced CT and angiography revealed that previously unknown communicating vessels ran from the top of the left atrium and drained into the right atrium. We emphasise that transcatheter atrial septostomy should be performed not through these communicating vessels but using the trans-septal approach in neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and an intact atrial septum.

Concepts: Blood, Cardiology, Heart, Left-wing politics, Cardiovascular system, Right atrium, Atrial septal defect, Hypoplastic left heart syndrome


We report the unique case of a primary cardiac leiomyoma originating from the right ventricle and involving the tricuspid valve in a 43-year-old woman. Echocardiography showed a giant mass causing severe pulmonary stenosis and tricuspid valve regurgitation. The patient underwent surgical excision and histologic examination revealed a primary cardiac leiomyoma. To the best of our knowledge only three cases of primary cardiac leiomyoma have so far been reported, and this is the first case of primary cardiac leiomyoma involving the tricuspid valve apparatus.

Concepts: Heart, Pulmonary artery, Right ventricle, Ventricle, Right atrium, Tricuspid valve, Tricuspid insufficiency, Pulmonary valve


The increased understanding of right heart diseases has led to more aggressive interventions to manage functional tricuspid regurgitation (FTR). In some cases of FTR, prosthetic valve replacement is typically considered when concomitant organic components or significant geometrical distortions are involved in the pathology of the tricuspid valve. However, little is known of the performance of current devices in the right heart circulation. In this study, a novel in vitro mock circulatory system that incorporated a realistic tricuspid valve apparatus in a patient-specific silicon right ventricle (RV) was designed and fabricated. The system was calibrated to emulate severe FTR, enabling the investigation of RV hemodynamics in pre- and post-implantation of tri-leaflet tissue implant and bi-leaflet mechanical implant. 2D particle imaging velocimetry was performed to visualize flow and quantify relevant hemodynamic parameters. While our results showed all prosthetic implants improved cardiac output, these implants also subjected the RV to increased turbulence level. Our study also revealed that the implants did not create the optimal behavior of fluid transfer in the RV as we expected. Among the implants tested, tissue implant created the most dominant vortices, which persisted throughout diastole; its observed strong negative vortex could lead to increase energy expenditure due to undesired fluid direction. In contrast, both native valve and mechanical implant had both weaker vortex formation as well as more significant vortex dissipation. Interestingly, the vortex dissipation of native valve was associated with streamlined flow pattern that tended towards the pulmonary outlet, while the mechanical implant generated more regions of flow stagnation within the RV. These findings heighten the imperative to improve designs of current heart valves to be used in the right circulation.

Concepts: Blood, Heart, Fluid dynamics, Cardiovascular system, Right ventricle, Ventricle, Right atrium, Tricuspid valve


Objective: To analyze the pulmonary valve function in patients with tetralogy of Fallot after radical surgery. Methods: Clinical data of 263 patients (119 male, mean age (33.2±11.5) years old) with tetralogy of Fallot underwent radical surgery in our hospital from January 2010 to June 2016 were retrospectively analyzed. According to age, patients were divided into 14-17 years old group (14 cases), 18-29 years old group (100 cases), 30-39 years old group (61 cases) and above 40 years old group (87 cases). The patients were divided into pulmonary regurgitation group (87 cases) and control group (176 cases) according to weather they have moderate or severe pulmonary regurgitation. Echocardiographic data were compared among groups. Results: A total of 83 patients received re-operation. The median age of the primary radical operation was 9 (5, 13) years, and the median time from the primary radical operation to echocardiographic follow-up was 5 (1, 13) years. Among the 263 enrolled patients, prevalence of pulmonary regurgitation was 36.1% (95/263), and pulmonary stenosis was evidenced in 28 patients (10.6%). The ratio of moderate to severe tricuspid regurgitation was 14.3% (2/14), 27.0% (27/100), 32.8% (20/61) and 37.9% (33/87) in 14-17 years old group, 18-29 years old group, 30-39 years old group and above 40 years old group, respectively (P=0.029), while prevalence of moderate and severe pulmonary regurgitation, moderate and severe pulmonary valve stenosis, pulmonary valve transvalvular pressure >40 mmHg (1 mmHg=0.133 kPa), right atrial and right ventricular enlargement ratio were similar among groups (all P>0.05). The ratio of moderate and severe tricuspid regurgitation and right ventricular enlargement in the pulmonary regurgitation group was significantly higher than in the control group (40.2% (35/87) vs. 27.3% (48/176) and 96.6% (84/87) vs. 87.5% (154/176), all P<0.05), while left ventricular ejection fraction, right atrial enlargement, and right ventricular wall thickness were similar between the two groups (all P>0.05). Conclusion: Pulmonary regurgitation is a common clinical feature among survivors of tetralogy of Fallot patients after radical surgery, and moderate to severe pulmonary regurgitation increases the risk of tricuspid regurgitation and enlargement of the right ventricle.

Concepts: Ejection fraction, Heart, Right ventricle, Ventricle, Right atrium, Tricuspid valve, Pulmonary valve stenosis, Pulmonary valve


Isolated reoperative tricuspid valve replacement is one of the highest risk operations classified in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons registry, particularly in the setting of preexisting right ventricular dysfunction. Transcatheter tricuspid valve-in-valve implantation represents an attractive alternative to redo surgery in patients with tricuspid bioprosthetic valve degeneration who are considered high-risk or unsuitable surgical candidates. In this review article, the authors discuss the emergence of transcatheter tricuspid valve-in-valve therapy, preprocedural echocardiographic assessment of tricuspid bioprosthetic valve dysfunction, periprocedural imaging required for tricuspid valve-in-valve implantation, and postprocedural assessment of tricuspid transcatheter device function.

Concepts: Hospital, Heart, Surgery, Physician, Right ventricle, Right atrium, Tricuspid valve, Pulmonary valve


Functional cardiac ultrasound measures are used clinically and in trials for assessing the haemodynamic status of newborn infants. Superior vena cava (SVC) flow and right ventricular output (RVO) are established measures of systemic blood flow on the first postnatal day. The objective was to assess image quality and interobserver agreement of these measures in preterm infants enrolled in a randomised trial of immediate versus delayed cord clamping.

Concepts: Childbirth, Infant, Fetus, Heart, Vein, Right atrium, Inferior vena cava, Systemic circulation


We sought to investigate right ventricular (RV) and right atrial mechanics in patients with daytime, night-time and daytime-night-time hypertension.

Concepts: Heart, Ventricle, Right atrium