Contact Us | Patient Portal | Search:
Printer Friendly VersionEmail A FriendAdd ThisIncrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Pulmonary valve stenosis

 

Definition

Pulmonary valve stenosis is a condition in which the flow of blood from the heart (right ventricle, or lower chamber) is blocked at the valve that separates the heart from the pulmonary artery (pulmonic valve). This narrowing is usually present at birth (congenital).

Alternative Names

Valvular pulmonary stenosis; Heart valve pulmonary stenosis

Causes

Pulmonary valve stenosis is most often caused by a problem that occurs when the unborn baby (fetus) is developing. The cause is unknown, but genetics may play a role.

Narrowing that occurs in the pulmonary valve is called pulmonary valve stenosis. Narrowing that occurs below the pulmonary valve is called subvalvar pulmonary stenosis. Another form of the condition, supravalvar pulmonary stenosis, is when narrowing occurs above the main pulmonary valve.

The defect may occur alone. However, it can also occur with other heart defects. The condition can be mild or severe. It occurs rarely, in only about 10% of patients with congenital heart disease.

Pulmonary stenosis can also occur later in life as a result of conditions that cause damage or scarring of the heart valves. These include rheumatic fever, endocarditis, and other disorders.

Symptoms

Note: Patients with mild to moderate blockage may not have any symptoms. There may be no symptoms until the disorder is severe. Symptoms, when present, may get worse with exercise or activity.

Signs and tests

The health care provider may hear a heart murmur by stethoscope. Tests used in the diagnosis of pulmonary stenosis may include:

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

As a general rule with mild stenosis, one-third of patients get better, one-third stay the same, and one-third get worse. The outcome is good with successful surgery or cardiac catheterization. Other congenital heart defects may also be a factor.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of pulmonary valve stenosis.

Call your health care provider if you have treated or untreated pulmonary valve stenosis and you develop swelling (of the ankles or any area), difficulty breathing, or other new symptoms.

Complications
  • Cyanosis
  • Death
  • Heart failure
  • Leaking of blood back into the right ventricle (pulmonary regurgitation) after repair
  • Right ventricular hypertrophy (enlargement)
Treatments

Sometimes, treatment may not be required.

Percutaneous balloon pulmonary dilation (valvuloplasty) using a catheter can be successful for pulmonary valve stenosis that occurs without other heart defects.

Surgery may be performed to repair the defect.

Medications used before surgery may include:

  • Anti-arrhythmics to improve the heart function
  • Blood thinners to prevent clots
  • Prostaglandins
  • Water pills to remove the excess fluid
Prevention

References

Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007.


Review Date: 5/15/2008
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
MAIMONIDES
MEDICAL CENTER


Home Page
Why Choose Us
Donations
Website Terms of Use
PATIENT
INFORMATION


Visitor & Patient Info
Patient Portal
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us
KEY
INFORMATION


Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking
FOR HEALTH
PROFESSIONALS


Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access
Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000