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A Comprehensive Guide to Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

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A Comprehensive Guide to Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

Pulmonology | by Dr. Raja Dhar | Published on 29/11/2023


Introduction 

If you or your child experience shortness of breath or heart murmur, it often is a sign of conditions like congenital heart defects, or pulmonary valve stenosis. This condition affects the heart and blood flow throughout the body. The prevalence of this condition differs but only happens to a minimal percentage of the population. 

If you suffer from pulmonary valve stenosis, make sure to book your appointment with the only and the best cardiac hospital in Kolkata, BM Birla Heart Research Centre. They have the best cardiologists and other healthcare facilities including team members. 

In this blog, we will discuss everything that’s related to pulmonary valve stenosis, its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options. However, please note that the information is only to understand the condition and we do not interfere with the doctor’s consultation in any way. 

What is pulmonary valve stenosis? 

Pulmonary valve stenosis is a condition in which the valve narrows between the heart’s lower right chamber and the lung arteries. The valve flaps become stiff or thick when the heart valve is narrowed. Due to this, the blood flow declines through the valve. Pulmonary stenosis is often an outcome of a heart issue developed before birth. Any heart issue that is present at birth is referred to as a congenital heart defect. Adults also experience this condition but it occurs due to another disease. 

The condition often ranges from moderate to serious illness. Some people with this condition don’t experience any major symptoms. It is recommended that regular health check-ups should be done to avoid any risks. Doctors often involve the treatment of valve replacement or repair to treat pulmonary stenosis. 

What are the symptoms of pulmonary valve stenosis? 

Pulmonary valve symptoms rely on the amount of blood flow restricted. While some people experience no symptoms, some people experience severe symptoms. People with this condition often observe symptoms during exercise. Here are some of the pulmonary valve stenosis symptoms: 

  • A rushing sound also known as a heart murmur 
  • Severe fatigue 
  • Breath shortness, mainly during exercise 
  • Serious chest pain 
  • Fainting 

Babies with pulmonary stenosis have skin that is gray or blue because of low levels of oxygen in the heart. 

What causes pulmonary valve stenosis? 

The causes of Pulmonary valve stenosis are not unknown and is believed that it is an outcome of a heart issue present at birth. The condition doesn’t grow as the baby develops in the womb. 

The pulmonary valve is formed of three thin tissue pieces known as flaps or cusps. The flaps open and close with every heartbeat. It ensures that the blood is moving in the correct direction. 

One or more flaps are stiff or thick in pulmonary valve stenosis. At times, the flaps are interlinked together and that implies that they are fused. Hence, the valve doesn’t open completely. It becomes difficult for the blood to leave the heart’s lower right heart chamber due to a smaller opening. 

The main pulmonary valve stenosis cause is usually congenital. It implies that the condition happens because of an anomaly in the heart's development during fetal growth. In certain cases, it is also linked to genetic factors. There are other causes such as rheumatic fever, which is less common, and conditions like carcinoid syndrome. It is recommended to get in touch with a doctor for comprehensive assessment and proper diagnosis depending on individual situations. 

How is pulmonary valve stenosis diagnosed? 

Pulmonary valve stenosis is a condition usually detected in childhood. However, it is difficult to diagnose in the future. A doctor can involve using a stethoscope to hear the heart sound, known as a heart murmur. The sound occurs due to choppy blood flow throughout the narrowed valve. 

Here are some tests ordered by a healthcare professional: 

  • Electrocardiogram- With this test, the doctor can involve recording the heart’s electrical activity. It helps in identifying the heartbeats and indicates heart muscle thickening. 
  • Echocardiogram- This test involves using sound waves to create heart images. It assists in indicating how the heart beats and is pumping blood and also detects how much the narrowing of the valve. 
  • Cardiac catheterization- With the help of a thin tube known as a catheter, this test assists in determining the severity of pulmonary stenosis. It identifies the difference in pressure between the heart’s right low chamber and the lung artery.
  • Other imaging tests- MRI and CT scans are ordered to confirm the pulmonary valve stenosis diagnosis so that the right treatment option is offered to the patient. 

What are the options for pulmonary stenosis treatment? 

The treatment plan for pulmonary valve stenosis is determined by a healthcare expert depending on different factors like the patient’s overall well-being and the seriousness of the condition. A patient must ensure regular follow-up to monitor and manage the condition. 

The treatment is not needed in case the symptoms are mild, but people who experience serious symptoms might need the following treatment options: 

  • Balloon Valvuloplasty- The surgeon involves using the catheter to broaden the narrowed valve. 
  • Surgery- Other surgical procedures entail replacing or repairing the narrowed valve. In some cases, the expert might also recommend minimally invasive surgery. 
  • Medications- For mild to moderate cases, the doctor usually prescribes medicines for the management of symptoms and preventing complications linked to pulmonary stenosis.

Conclusion 

Pulmonary valve stenosis is one of the heart conditions that occurs due to congenital heart defects. It affects the complete blood flow from the heart to the lungs. In some cases, there is no need for treatment to mild impact, while some may need medical intervention like surgical procedures. With frequent check-ups, one can ensure ideal heart health including overall well-being. It is always the best idea to comprehend the nature of this condition to foster a proactive approach to the appropriate management of this condition. 

Faq -

Can pulmonary valve stenosis go away?

Pulmonary valve stenosis improves with time for children with mild to moderate symptoms.

Is pulmonary stenosis life-threatening? 

If the pulmonary stenosis is not serious, usually it is not life-threatening, but if it is serious, then it requires immediate treatment.

Is pulmonary stenosis cyanotic or cyanotic?

Pulmonary stenosis is a cyanotic heart defect.

Is pulmonary stenosis hereditary?

Yes, pulmonary stenosis is identified to be a hereditary condition due to an autosomal dominant mode.