Advanced care for tricuspid atresia in Denver

Tricuspid atresia is one of many congenital abnormalities of the heart that we treat at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. Our pediatric heart surgery  experts are highly trained to provide the best heart care  possible for your child. Tricuspid atresia is a serious condition, but with the right care and surgery, your child can live a long, happy life.

Learn more about surgical treatment options for tricuspid atresia by calling our Center for Maternal/Fetal Health at (720) 754-7642.

What is tricuspid atresia

Tricuspid atresia is a congenital abnormality affecting the heart muscle. This abnormality occurs due to an irregular development of the fetus’s heart during the first eight weeks of gestation. The tricuspid valve exists between the right atrium and right ventricle and tricuspid atresia occurs when this valve does not develop properly during pregnancy.

In a heart with a properly functioning tricuspid valve, oxygen-poor blood returns to the right atrium from the body, makes it way to the right ventricle and then is pumped to the lungs through the pulmonary artery where it is oxygenated. Then, oxygen-rich blood will return to the left atrium from the lungs, continues into the left ventricle and is finally pumped through the aorta into the body.

In patients with tricuspid atresia, the tricuspid valve has developed improperly or does not form at all, a plate of tissue takes its place. This plate of tissue does not allow oxygen-poor blood to pass through the right atrium to the ventricle and then on to the lungs, as it should in a properly functioning valve.

Tricuspid atresia may result in an underdeveloped right ventricle. Additionally, openings may be apparent in the atrial and ventricular walls, allowing oxygen-poor blood and oxygen-rich blood to mix.

Tricuspid atresia is accountable for one to two percent of all cases of congenital heart disease  and occurs equally in both boys and girls.