Pulmonary Valve Stenosis -- Child

Pulmonary valve stenosis is when the pulmonary valve is thickened or can't open fully. The heart pumps blood out of the right side of the heart, through the pulmonary valve, to the lungs. When this valve is not working properly it can decrease the amount of blood going to the lungs for oxygen or increase the work the heart muscle has to do to maintain it. Blood can also back up into the heart. The condition can be mild to severe.

  • Causes

    Pulmonary stenosis is caused by abnormal development of the heart valve before birth. In most cases, it is not known exactly why it happens.

  • Definition

    Pulmonary valve stenosis is when the pulmonary valve is thickened or can't open fully.

    The heart pumps blood out of the right side of the heart, through the pulmonary valve, to the lungs. When this valve is not working properly it can decrease the amount of blood going to the lungs for oxygen or increase the work the heart muscle has to do to maintain it. Blood can also back up into the heart. The condition can be mild to severe.

    Heart Chambers and Valves
    heart anatomy
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    Blood Flow Through the Heart
    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Diagnosis

    The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor may suspect a heart valve problems if there is a heart murmur. To confirm the diagnosis, an electrocardiogram
    and images of the heart and its structures may be taken with:

    • Echocardiogram
    • Chest x-ray
    • MRI scan
    • CT scan

  • Prevention

    Ways to prevent heart defects are not entirely clear and may not always be possible. However, good prenatal care may reduce your risk of having a child with a heart defect. During pregnancy:


    • Visit your obstetrician or midwife regularly. Prenatal
      ultrasound
      and certain genetic tests may detect a heart defect in a growing fetus.
    • Make sure you are practicing a healthy lifestyle. Practice nutritious eating habits and take prenatal vitamins.
    • Do not drink alcohol, smoke, or use drugs during pregnancy.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase the risk of pulmonary valve stenosis may include:

    • Family history of congenital heart defect
    • Certain chromosomal disorders
    • Other heart defects

    • Previous pregnancy with fetal heart abnormalities or
      miscarriage
    • Being infected with a virus during pregnancy
    • Maternal smoking during pregnancy

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Heavy or rapid breathing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Blue or pale grayish skin color
    • Fatigue
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Swelling of the feet, ankles, eyelids, and abdomen
    • Urinating less


    Your doctor may also detect a
    heart murmur
    in your child during a physical exam.

    These symptoms may be caused by other severe conditions. If your child has any of these, talk to the doctor right away.

  • Treatment

    If your child has mild pulmonary valve stenosis, immediate treatment may not be needed. Your doctor will monitor your child's condition to look for potential problems. Other treatment options include: