Condition 101 About Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

What is the definition of Pulmonary Valve Stenosis?

Pulmonary valve stenosis is a heart valve disorder that involves the pulmonary valve.

This is the valve separating the right ventricle (one of the chambers in the heart) and the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery carries oxygen-poor blood to the lungs.

Stenosis, or narrowing, occurs when the valve cannot open wide enough. As a result, less blood flows to the lungs.

What are the alternative names for Pulmonary Valve Stenosis?

Valvular pulmonary stenosis; Heart valve pulmonary stenosis; Pulmonary stenosis; Stenosis - pulmonary valve; Balloon valvuloplasty - pulmonary

What are the causes for Pulmonary Valve Stenosis?

Narrowing of the pulmonary valve is most often present at birth (congenital). It is caused by a problem that occurs as the baby develops in the womb before birth. The cause is unknown, but genes may play a role.

Narrowing that occurs in the valve itself is called pulmonary valve stenosis. There may also be narrowing just before or after the valve.

The defect may occur alone or with other heart defects that are present at birth. The condition can be mild or severe.

Pulmonary valve stenosis is a rare disorder. In some cases, the problem runs in families.

What are the symptoms for Pulmonary Valve Stenosis?

Many cases of pulmonary valve stenosis are mild and do not cause symptoms. The problem is most often found in infants when a heart murmur is heard during a routine heart exam.

When the valve narrowing (stenosis) is moderate to severe, the symptoms include:

  • Abdominal distention
  • Bluish color to the skin (cyanosis) in some people
  • Poor appetite
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Poor weight gain or failure to thrive in infants with a severe blockage
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden death

Symptoms may get worse with exercise or activity.

What are the current treatments for Pulmonary Valve Stenosis?

Sometimes, treatment may not be needed if the disorder is mild.

When there are also other heart defects, medicines may be used to:

  • Help blood flow through the heart (prostaglandins)
  • Help the heart beat stronger
  • Prevent clots (blood thinners)
  • Remove excess fluid (water pills)
  • Treat abnormal heartbeats and rhythms

Percutaneous balloon pulmonary dilation (valvuloplasty) may be performed when no other heart defects are present.

  • This procedure is done through an artery in the groin.
  • The doctor sends a flexible tube (catheter) with a balloon attached to the end up to the heart. Special x-rays are used to help guide the catheter.
  • The balloon stretches the opening of the valve.

Some people may need heart surgery to repair or replace the pulmonary valve. The new valve can be made from different materials. If the valve cannot be repaired or replaced, other procedures may be needed.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Pulmonary Valve Stenosis?

People with mild disease rarely get worse. However, those with moderate to severe disease will get worse. The outcome is often very good when surgery or balloon dilation is successful. Other congenital heart defects may be a factor in the outlook.

Most often, the new valves can last for decades. However, some will wear out and need to be replaced.

What are the possible complications for Pulmonary Valve Stenosis?

Complications may include:

  • Abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Death
  • Heart failure and enlargement of the right side of the heart
  • Leaking of blood back into the right ventricle (pulmonary regurgitation) after repair

When should I contact a medical professional for Pulmonary Valve Stenosis?

Call your provider if:

  • You have symptoms of pulmonary valve stenosis.
  • You have been treated or have untreated pulmonary valve stenosis and have developed swelling (of the ankles, legs, or abdomen), difficulty breathing, or other new symptoms.


Carabello BA. Valvular heart disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 66.

Pellikka PA. Tricuspid, pulmonic, and multivalvular disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 70.

Therrien J, Marelli AJ. Congenital heart disease in adults. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 61.

Webb GD, Smallhorn JF, Therrien J, Redington AN. Congenital heart disease in the adult and pediatric patient. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 75.

Top Global Doctors For Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

Binita M. Kamath
Toronto, ON, CA
Edmar Atik
Sao Paulo, SP, BR
Daniela Marchetti
Bergamo, IT
Maria C. Digilio
Rome, IT

Latest Advances On Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

  • Condition: Borderline Left Heart Hypoplasia
  • Journal: Journal of cardiothoracic surgery
  • Treatment Used: Half-turned Truncal Switch Operation after Single Ventricle Palliation
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
The study researched the safety and effectiveness of a half-turned truncal switch operation for single ventricle palliation for borderline left heart hypoplasia.
  • Condition: Intractable Congenital Mitral Valve Lesions
  • Journal: Zhonghua wai ke za zhi [Chinese journal of surgery]
  • Treatment Used: Pulmonary Autograft Mitral Valve Replacement
  • Number of Patients: 6
  • Published —
This study tested the safety and efficacy of using a pulmonary autograft mitral valve replacement to treat infants with intractable congenital mitral valve lesions.

Clinical Trials For Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Phase: N/A
  • Intervention Type: Procedure
  • Participants: 5
  • Start Date: September 2021
Allogeneic Left Atrial and Pulmonary Vein Transplant for Pulmonary Vein Stenosis
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Phase: Phase 3
  • Intervention Type: Drug
  • Participants: 63
  • Start Date: January 2021
A Phase 3 Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Odevixibat (A4250) in Patients With Alagille Syndrome (ASSERT)