Pulmonary valve stenosis is commonly diagnosed during the childhood period. However, it might not be discovered until much later in life.
When a doctor listens to your heart by using stethoscope, heart murmur can be heard. The murmur can be an initial sign of the disease.
A pulmonary valve stenosis diagnosis test could involve:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): This rapid and painless examination captures the electrical activity of the heart. Electrodes are applied in the form of sticky patches to the arms, legs, and chest. The electrodes are connected by wires to a computer, which shows the test findings. An ECG can display the heart’s rhythm as well as potential cardiac muscle thickening indicators.
- Echocardiogram: Sound waves are used in an echocardiogram to create images of the heart, revealing the pulmonary valve’s structure, location and degree of valve narrowing as well as revealing the heart beat and its pumping.
- Cardiac catheterization: The heart is reached by inserting a thin tube (catheter) into the groin and guiding it via the blood vessels to the heart. For better X-ray visibility, dye can be administered through the catheter into the blood vessels, (coronary angiogram).
Cardiac catheterization is used to test the pressure inside the heart’s chambers and evaluate how well the heart pumps blood. The test can assess the severity of pulmonary valve stenosis by comparing the blood pressure in the right ventricle.
Other imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are also used for diagnosis confirmation.
If the patient have mild pulmonary valve stenosis with no symptoms, then only need occasional visits are needed. However, for moderate or severe pulmonary valve stenosis, a surgical procedure may be recommended. The general health of the patient and the condition of the pulmonary valve will determine what kind of procedure or if surgery may be needed.
The following heart operations and treatments are used to treat pulmonary valve stenosis:
- Balloon valvuloplasty: a flexible tube (catheter) that is inserted into the artery, typically through the groin area, and has a balloon on the tip. X-rays are utilized to assist in directing the catheter to the heart’s narrowed valve. The valve opening will be widened and the valve flaps will be separated by inflating the balloon. Afterwards, the balloon is deflated and removed.The symptoms of pulmonary valve stenosis may be lessened and blood flow through the heart may be improved with valvuloplasty. However, there is a possibility that the valve could narrow again, therefore some people might need valve repair or replacement.
- Pulmonary valve replacement: A catheter technique or open-heart surgery may be used to replace the pulmonary valve. During the procedure other congenital heart defects may also be repaired at the same time. Antibiotics must be taken before dental or surgical operations in order to prevent endocarditis in patients who have had pulmonary valve replacement.