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A to Z: Pulmonic Valvular Stenosis

May also be called: Pulmonary Stenosis; PS; Pulmonary Valve Stenosis; PVS; Valvular Pulmonary Stenosis; Heart Valve Pulmonary Stenosis

Pulmonic valvular stenosis (pul-MAH-nik VAL-vyoo-lur stuh-NO-sis) is a condition in which a deformity of the pulmonic valve causes less blood than normal to flow from the heart to the lungs.

More to Know

The heart has four chambers; the right ventricle and left ventricle are on the bottom, and the right atrium and left atrium are on the top:

  • Oxygen-poor blood returning from the body enters the heart in the right atrium and then flows into the right ventricle.
  • When the heart beats, the ventricle pushes blood through the pulmonic valve into the pulmonary artery, which carries blood to the lungs so it can pick up oxygen.

When someone has pulmonic valvular stenosis (also called pulmonary stenosis), it means that a deformity on or near the pulmonic valve is narrowing the passage for blood. This slows down the flow of blood to the lungs.

Deformities that affect the pulmonic valve are usually caused by congenital heart defects (heart problems that kids are born with). Sometimes tumors or other heart disorders cause problems with the pulmonic valve. Pulmonic valvular stenosis is most common in newborns, but can affect people of any age.

Some people with pulmonic valvular stenosis have no problems, while others might have a range of problems, such as heart murmurs or rapid heartbeat (palpitations), shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and in some cases, a bluish color to the skin. In severe cases, children may have growth problems and enlarged abdomens from the backup of blood.

Not all cases of pulmonic valvular stenosis need treatment, but doctors may use medicines depending on how the heart is working.

More serious cases usually are treated with a surgical procedure called a balloon valvuloplasty. In this treatment, an uninflated balloon is placed in the pulmonic valve and then inflated to open the valve wider. Then the balloon is removed. In rare cases, doctors may use open-heart surgery to repair the pulmonic valve and pulmonary artery.

Keep in Mind

Mild cases of pulmonic valvular stenosis may never require any treatment. If needed, treatments like balloon valvuloplasty or open-heart surgery have great results and in most cases the stenosis does not return.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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