Pulmonary valve stenosis is a heart valve disorder that involves the pulmonary valve. This is the valve separating the right ventricle (one of the chambers in the heart) and the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery carries oxygen-poor blood to the lungs.
Stenosis, or narrowing, occurs when the valve cannot open wide enough. As a result, less blood flows to the lungs.
Many cases of pulmonary valve stenosis are mild and do not cause symptoms. The problem is most often found in infants when a heart murmur is heard during a routine heart exam.
Sometimes, treatment may not be needed if the disorder is mild. When there are also other heart defects, medicines may be used to:
- Help blood flow through the heart (prostaglandins)
- Help the heart beat stronger
- Prevent clots (blood thinners)
- Remove excess fluid (water pills)
- Treat abnormal heartbeats and rhythms
Percutaneous balloon pulmonary dilation (valvuloplasty) may be performed when no other heart defects are present.
This procedure is done through an artery in the groin. The doctor sends a flexible tube (catheter) with a balloon attached to the end up to the heart. Special x-rays are used to help guide the catheter. The balloon stretches the opening of the valve.
Some people may need heart surgery to repair or replace the pulmonary valve.