Pediatric Pulmonary Stenosis
Pediatric pulmonary stenosis occurs when the pulmonary valve of the heart is narrowed or obstructed, reducing blood flow from the lungs into the heart.
Pediatric pulmonary stenosis is a heart condition where the pulmonary valve is narrowed, reducing the ability of the heart to pump oxygen-rich blood from the lungs back into the heart.
In a healthy heart, the pulmonary valve has three tiny flaps of skin (leaflets) to regulate blood flow like a one-way street. The valve controls the blood flow from the lungs through the pulmonary artery of the heart and out to the rest of the body.
When the pulmonary valve is narrowed, the heart must work harder to pump the blood, causing the muscle to thicken and weaken over time. In most cases, the cause of the narrowing is unknown, but it is often congenital (present at birth). The level of blockage can vary and become worse over time.
- Valvar pulmonary stenosis – The leaflets are thickened and/or narrowed.
- Supravalvar pulmonary stenosis – The pulmonary artery just above the pulmonary valve is narrowed.
- Subvalvar (infundibular) pulmonary stenosis –The muscle under the valve area is thickened.
- Branch peripheral pulmonic stenosis – The right or left pulmonary artery is narrowed, or both may be narrowed.
Symptoms in infants (birth to 1 year*)
- Weak pulse
- Rapid breathing
- Decreased feeding
- Lethargy (exhaustion)
- In extreme cases, congestive heart failure
Symptoms in children (birth to 19-years old**)
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Heavy or rapid breathing
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Swelling in the feet, ankles, abdomen or face
*Age limit of infants defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
**Age limit of pediatric/child age group defined by the WHO.