A case of traumatic tricuspid insufficiency leading to right atrial enlargement and to a patent foramen ovale with right to left shunting is presented. Six similar cases previously reported are reviewed. The time course of clinical deterioration was related to the type of tricuspid valve damage incurred. Papillary muscle rupture led to surgery within a year, whereas less severe chordal damage allowed a more benign course that lasted from 10 to 25 years from the time of injury to the time of surgery. Surgical repair of the incompetent tricuspid valve and closure of the atrial septal defect led to significant improvement. The diagnostic usefulness of radionuclide imaging and echocardiography is demonstrated in this case. A mechanism of right to left interatrial shunting in the presence of normal pulmonary arterial pressures is proposed; this invokes phasic increases in right atrial pressure from tricuspid insufficiency and streaming of blood from the inferior vena cava into the left atrium across a patent foramen ovale in a manner that resembles conditions in the fetal circulation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine