Patients undergoing valvulectomy for isolated tricuspid valve endocarditis offer the unique opportunity to study the effects of acquired right ventricular volume overload on left ventricular filling in persons free of pulmonary hypertension and preexisting left heart disease. Eleven patients who had undergone total or partial removal of the tricuspid valve were compared with 11 age-matched control subjects; Doppler echocardiographic techniques were used to quantify changes in left ventricular filling and to relate them to changes in left ventricular and left atrial geometry caused by right ventricular and right atrial distension. The late diastolic fractional transmitral flow velocity integral, a measure of the left atrial contribution to left ventricular filling, was significantly decreased in patients undergoing tricuspid valvulectomy compared with control subjects (0.22 ± 0.11 versus 0.32 ± 0.09; p < 0.04). Severe tricuspid regurgitation in these patients resulted in marked right atrial distension, reversal of the normal interatrial septal curvature and compression of the left atrium such that left atrial area was significantly smaller than in control subjects (5.9 ± 2.2 versus 8.6 ± 1.2 cm2/m2; p < 0.005). Acting as a receiving chamber, the left ventricle was maximally compressed by the volume-overloaded right ventricle in late diastole coincident with the timing of atrial systole, resulting in a significant increase in the left ventricular eccentricity index compared with that in control subjects (1.35 ± 0.14 versus 1.03 ± 0.1; p < 0.001). Thus, right ventricular volume overload due to severe tricuspid regurgitation results in left heart geometric alterations that decrease left atrial preload, impair left ventricular receiving chamber characteristics and reduce the atrial contribution to total left ventricular filling. © 1990.
Louie, E. K., Bieniarz, T., Moore, A. M., & Levitsky, S. (1990). Reduced atrial contribution to left ventricular filling in patients with severe tricuspid regurgitation after tricuspid valvulectomy: A Doppler echocardiographic study. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 16(7), 1617–1624. https://doi.org/10.1016/0735-1097(90)90311-C