New Repairs for the Triscupid Valve

Tricuspid valve regurgitation (TR) isn’t as common as MR. Yet patients with this condition have a similar problem with valve leakage or backflow. The tricuspid valve has three leaflets that control the movement of blood between the upper chamber (atrium) and lower chamber (ventricle) on the right side of the heart. When these leaflets fail to close all the way, blood moves backwards into the ventricle.

A damaged tricuspid valve (upper left) can leak,causing blood to flow back into the ventricle.
As in patients with MR, the heart has to pump harder to move blood through the body when TR is present. TR has been traditionally addressed with open surgery, but many patients with severe TR have risk factors for an open procedure. Now there is new hope on the horizon for a less invasive approach.

Dr. Rebecca Hahn of The Valve Center is leading a national trial of TriAlign, a catheter-based device for repair of the triscupid valve. A suture with a small wad of material is used to cinch the valve, making the leaflets close more fully—and thereby reducing the leak.

Dr. Hahn says, “We are extremely excited to be pioneering an innovative repair for the tricuspid valve. Until now, surgery to replace the tricuspid valve has been associated with a significant mortality rate. This new, less invasive approach is a welcome advancement.”

Dr. Susheel Kodali, Director of the Structural Heart and Valve Center, Director of the Structural Heart and Valve Center, is testing the Edwards FORMA transcatheter valve system—another minimally invasive way to repair the tricuspid valve. Using a catheter, physicians place a foam-filled polymer balloon “filler” in the area of the leakage. The patient’s leaflets grab onto the balloon and this reduces regurgitation.

For more information about clinical trials for valve repair and replacements, please contact the Structural Heart and Valve Center at (212) 342-0444.