Pulmonary Valve Stenosis is a congenital condition where the valve that moves blood between the right ventricle of your heart and the main artery in your lungs doesn’t open properly.
Inside the pulmonary valve, three thin flaps of tissue called leaflets are arranged in a circle. When the heart beats, the valve opens towards the pulmonary artery and then closes to keep blood from flowing back into the heart. People with pulmonary valve stenosis don’t have these leaflets formed properly, or they don’t close properly.
Patients with pulmonary valve stenosis are born with it. About 1 in 8,000 babies have the condition. Not all of them require treatment or surgery.
Symptoms of pulmonary valve stenosis are similar to other types of pulmonary valve disease. Signs include shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness and fainting, and chest pain.
Babies who have pulmonary valve stenosis might not gain weight appropriately or may be diagnosed as “failure to thrive.” Some patients also have heart murmurs or other heart beat irregularities.
Some cases of pulmonary valve stenosis do not require any treatment because symptoms are mild. Your doctor may suggest tests such as an echocardiogram or magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI), to show how the valve is functioning.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications to improve blood flow and prevent clots, as well as a diuretic that prevents buildup of fluid in the lungs.
Surgery can fix the valve’s malfunction or can replace the valve if it is particularly weak or malformed. Valvuloplasty, which works like an angioplasty in the heart artery, stretches the walls of the pulmonary valve to increase capacity for blood flow.