What is pulmonary stenosis?

A stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of an area in the body. Within the heart, pulmonary stenosis (also called pulmonic stenosis or pulmonary valve stenosis) is a narrowing between the right ventricle (lower right chamber of the heart that pumps blood to the lungs) and the main pulmonary artery (the blood vessel that brings deoxygenated blood to the lungs).

What are the types of pulmonary stenosis?

There are 3 types of pulmonary stenosis:

  • Thickened muscle below the pulmonary valve (subvalvar stenosis)
  • Malformation (incorrect formation) of the valve itself (valvar pulmonary stenosis)
  • Narrowing of the pulmonary artery above the valve (supravalvar stenosis)

What causes pulmonar stenosis?

Pulmonary stenosis is usually caused by abnormal development of the heart during the first few months of pregnancy. This heart defect usually occurs at random and the exact cause is unknown. Pulmonary stenosis is not anyone’s fault.

What are the symptoms of pulmonary stenosis?

Infants and children often do not have any symptoms because the defect is mild. In some cases, your child may have a heart murmur.

In more serious cases, infants will have cyanosis (blue/purple color to the lips and nails). They might also have low oxygen levels in their blood. Older children with more serious stenosis may have shortness of breath with physical activity or get tired easily.

Rev. 9/2018. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.