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Surgery Does Not Improve Survival in Patients With Isolated Severe Tricuspid RegurgitationFree Access

Original Investigation

J Am Coll Cardiol, 74 (6) 715–725

Central Illustration



Patients with isolated tricuspid regurgitation (TR) in the absence of left-sided valvular dysfunction are often managed nonoperatively.


The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of surgery for isolated TR, comparing survival for isolated severe TR patients who underwent surgery with those who did not.


A longitudinal echocardiography database was used to perform a retrospective analysis of 3,276 adult patients with isolated severe TR from November 2001 to March 2016. All-cause mortality for patients who underwent surgery versus those who did not was analyzed in the entire cohort and in a propensity-matched sample. To assess the possibility of immortal time bias, the analysis was performed considering time from diagnosis to surgery as a time-dependent covariate.


Of 3,276 patients with isolated severe TR, 171 (5%) underwent tricuspid valve surgery, including 143 (84%) repairs and 28 (16%) replacements. The remaining 3,105 (95%) patients were medically managed. When considering surgery as a time-dependent covariate in a propensity-matched sample, there was no difference in overall survival between patients who received medical versus surgical therapy (hazard ratio: 1.34; 95% confidence interval: 0.78 to 2.30; p = 0.288). In the subgroup that underwent surgery, there was no difference in survival between tricuspid repair versus replacement (hazard ratio: 1.53; 95% confidence interval: 0.74 to 3.17; p = 0.254).


In patients with isolated severe TR, surgery is not associated with improved long-term survival compared to medical management alone after accounting for immortal time bias.