(See also Overview of Heart Valve Disorders Overview of Heart Valve Disorders Heart valves regulate the flow of blood through the heart's four chambers—two small, round upper chambers (atria) and two larger, cone-shaped lower chambers (ventricles). Each ventricle has... read more and the video .)
The pulmonic valve is in the opening between the right ventricle and the blood vessels going to the lungs (pulmonary arteries). The pulmonic valve opens as the right ventricle contracts to pump blood into the lungs. Certain disorders causes the valve opening to be narrowed (stenosis).
Pulmonic stenosis, which is rare among adults, is usually due to a birth defect Overview of Heart Defects About one in 100 babies is born with a heart defect. Some are severe, but many are not. Defects may involve abnormal formation of the heart's walls or valves or of the blood vessels that enter... read more . When the stenosis is severe, it is usually diagnosed during childhood, because it causes a loud heart murmur (abnormal heart sound that a doctor can hear with a stethoscope). Severe pulmonic stenosis occasionally causes heart failure Heart Failure (HF) Heart failure is a disorder in which the heart is unable to keep up with the demands of the body, leading to reduced blood flow, back-up (congestion) of blood in the veins and lungs, and/or... read more in children but often does not cause symptoms until adulthood.
Symptoms include chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, and fainting.
Diagnosis of Pulmonic Stenosis
Through a stethoscope, doctors may hear the characteristic murmur of pulmonic stenosis.
Echocardiography Echocardiography and Other Ultrasound Procedures Ultrasonography uses high-frequency (ultrasound) waves bounced off internal structures to produce a moving image. It uses no x-rays. Ultrasonography of the heart (echocardiography) is one of... read more can produce an image of the narrowed valve opening and show the amount of blood passing through the valve, so that the severity of the stenosis can be determined.
Treatment of Pulmonic Stenosis
In people with symptoms and/or severe stenosis detected by echocardiography, balloon valvuloplasty may be done. In this procedure, the valve is stretched open using a catheter with a ballon on the tip, which is threaded through a vein and eventually into the heart. Once inside the valve, the balloon is inflated, separating the valve cusps. In rare cases, the pulmonic valve is replaced with a bioprosthetic valve.
The following English-language resource may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.
American Heart Association: Heart Valve Disease: Provides comprehensive information on diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the heart valves