Fetal tricuspid regurgitation

Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) (also known as tricuspid insufficiency) is a common finding in imaging of the fetus. Tricuspid regurgitation represents the abnormal backflow of blood into the right atrium during right ventricular contraction due to valvular leakage (i.e. it is a valvulopathy). 

Tricuspid regurgitation is a common sonographic finding during fetal life and can be seen in 7% of normal fetuses 1.

Trivial tricuspid regurgitation can be an isolated finding in an otherwise normal fetus with no other structural abnormality 2. It may be associated with aneuploidy and with both cardiac and extracardiac defects 3-5.

Technique: the pulsed Doppler gate should be placed perpendicular across the tricuspid valve in the four-chamber view with the angel of insonation <20°. 

Diagnosis is made when the regurgitation jet velocity is at least 80 cm/sec and its interval extends to more than half of systole 7. Color Doppler shows flow in the opposite direction with a different color compared to mitral valve flow with aliasing, denoting high-velocity flow in opposite direction.

  • prevalence: 1-5%
  • isolated finding
  • resolution with follow-up
  • mid or early systolic
  • peak velocity: 30-70 cm/s
  • jet extends <1/3 distance to the opposite atrial wall 6
  • holosystolic
  • peak velocity: 180-350 cm/s

Article information

rID: 71580
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Tricuspid regurg in the fetus
  • Foetal TR
  • Fetal TR
  • Foetal tricuspid regurgitation
  • Fetal tricuspid insufficiency

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewers/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: pulsed Doppler
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 1: color Doppler
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: color Doppler
    Drag here to reorder.