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Ann Thorac Surg. 2002 Mar;73(3):756-61.

Improvement of tricuspid regurgitation after pulmonary thromboendarterectomy.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.



For patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension who undergo pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) it has not yet been systematically investigated how operation affects the severity of tricuspid regurgitation (TR). This study sought (1) to evaluate the extent of TR reversibility after operation, (2) to identify potential predictors of the reversibility of TR, and (3) to investigate the influence of geometric and hemodynamic alterations on the extent of TR severity.


Thirty-nine patients (55+/-12 years) undergoing PTE without tricuspid valve repair were investigated before and 13+/-8 days after operation by Doppler color flow mapping. Geometry of the tricuspid valve as well as right ventricular size and function were determined with echocardiography. Mean pulmonary arterial pressure was determined invasively.


After PTE, mean pulmonary arterial pressure was significantly lower (48+/-10 versus 25+/-7 mm Hg, p < 0.05). Most of the patients had a distinct reduction of TR, and the improvement trend showed on the severity scale: number of patients with 4+TR (23 --> 4), 3+TR (12 --> 12), 2+TR (2 --> 13), and 1+TR (2 --> 10). Examination after PTE revealed profound reduction of right ventricular size and annulus diameter, with a normalization of the valvular geometry. However, none of the study variables were useful as indicators of the postoperative outcome.


After PTE without additional valve repair most patients show significantly reduced severity of TR soon afterward; the very few cases in which TR does not improve remain unidentifiable before operation. Our recommendation is consequently to refrain from additional tricuspid repair in patients undergoing PTE.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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