Ebstein's anomaly is caused by a congenital abnormality in the tricuspid valve, which is located on the right side of the heart. In this abnormality, the tricuspid valve is positioned lower than usual. Two of the three leaflets are in the wrong position, and the third is longer than normal. This displacement leads to complications such as regurgitation and heart failure.
Atrialization is the process by which a portion of the right ventricle becomes a part of the right atrium. This happens because a congenital defect in the tricuspid valve causes it to be positioned lower than it would be in a normal heart.
Administration of lithium during the first trimester of pregnancy increases the risk of the fetus developing Ebstein's anomaly.
The congenital defect in the tricuspid valve can lead to blood leaking back into the right atrium, resulting in tricuspid regurgitation during systole. If this regurgitation is severe enough, it can cause heart failure.
Heart failure occurs because the tricuspid valve is malformed. This malformation causes a backflow of blood from the right ventricle to the right atrium. Because of the backflow, the heart is unable to function properly. The backflow of blood can lead to dilation of the heart and, if severe enough, heart failure.
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