Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Tests to diagnose pulmonary atresia may include:

  • X-ray. An X-ray shows the size and shape of your child's internal tissues, bones and organs. This can help your baby's doctor see the extent of your baby's pulmonary atresia.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). In this test, sensor patches with wires attached (electrodes) measure the electrical impulses given off by your child's heart. This test detects any abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias) and may show heart muscle stress.
  • Echocardiogram. In an echocardiogram sound waves create detailed images of your child's heart. An echocardiogram shows the size of your child's pumping chamber (right ventricle), tricuspid valve and other heart functions. Your child's doctor usually uses an echocardiogram to diagnose pulmonary atresia. Your doctor may diagnose your baby's pulmonary atresia through an echocardiogram of your abdomen before you deliver your baby (fetal echocardiogram).
  • Cardiac catheterization. In this test, your child's doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in your child's groin and guides it to your child's heart using X-ray imaging. This test provides detailed information about your child's heart structure and your child's blood pressure and oxygen levels in the heart, pulmonary (lung) artery and aorta. Your child's doctor may inject a special dye into the catheter to make the arteries visible under X-ray. Some medical procedures to correct pulmonary atresia are done through catheterization. It's possible that if your baby's doctor sees a problem during the catheterization, he or she will correct it immediately.
Jan. 24, 2013