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Pulmonary Valve Stenosis—Child

(Pulmonary Stenosis—Child)

Definition

Pulmonary valve stenosis is a problem with a valve in the heart. They valve is thickened or cannot open as wide as it should. This can:

  • Decrease the amount of blood that reaches the lungs, which lowers the amount of blood that is available to pick up oxygen
  • Increase the workload of the right side of the heart
  • Cause blood to back up into the heart

Heart Chambers and Valves
heart anatomy

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Blood Flow Through the Heart

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Causes

This problem is present at birth. It happens when the valve has not developed as it should. It is not known why this happens. Genes, the environment, and dietary factors may play a role.

Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:

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

Symptoms

Problems may be mild to severe. They may be:

  • Heavy or rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blue or pale gray skin color
  • Lack of energy
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Swelling of the feet, ankles, eyelids, and belly
  • Urinating less

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may suspect a problem with a heart valve if there is a heart murmur.

Images will be taken to confirm the diagnosis. This can be done with:

Treatment

Mild stenosis may not need treatment right away. The doctor will monitor the child for any changes.

In others, the goal of treatment is to ease symptoms and prevent damage. Activity levels may need to be lowered.

Surgery may be done to repair or replace the problem valve. Choices are:

  • Balloon valvuloplasty to pass a balloon to the valve and inflates it to open the valve
  • Valve replacement to remove the problem valve and put a mechanical or tissue valve in its place
  • Open heart surgery to repair valves that cannot be opened with other methods

Prevention

There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.

RESOURCES:

American Heart Association
http://www.heart.org

Family Doctor—American Family Physician
http://familydoctor.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Cardiovascular Society
http://www.ccs.ca

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
http://www.heartandstroke.ca

REFERENCES:

Fathallah M, Krasuski RA. Pulmonic Valve Disease: Review of Pathology and Current Treatment Options. Curr Cardiol Rep. 2017 Sep 16;19(11):108.

Pulmonary stenosis. Johns Hopkins University, Cove Point Foundation website. Available at: http://www.pted.org/?id=pulmonarystenosis3. Accessed March 2, 2021.

Pulmonary stenosis. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford website. Available at: https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=pulmonary-stenosis-90-P01815. Accessed March 2, 2021.

Pulmonary valve stenosis. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/Pulmonary-Valve-Stenosis_UCM_307034_Article.jsp. Accessed March 2, 2021.

Pulmonic stenosis in infants and children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/pulmonic-stenosis-in-infants-and-children-18. Accessed March 2, 2021.

Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD  Last Updated: 3/2/2021