Overview

Pulmonary valve disease is a condition in which the pulmonary valve — located between your heart's lower right heart chamber (right ventricle) and the artery that delivers blood to the lungs (pulmonary artery) — doesn't work properly. The condition can interrupt blood flow from your heart to your lungs.

The pulmonary valve normally acts like a one-way door from your heart's right ventricle to the lungs. Blood flows from the right ventricle through the pulmonary valve to the pulmonary artery and then into the lungs, where it picks up oxygen to deliver to your body.

Types of pulmonary valve disease include:

  • Pulmonary valve stenosis. Narrowing of the pulmonary valve reduces the blood flow from the heart to the pulmonary artery and lungs.
  • Pulmonary valve regurgitation. The flaps (leaflets) of the pulmonary valve don't close tightly, causing blood to leak backward into the right ventricle.
  • Pulmonary atresia. This condition is present at birth (congenital). The pulmonary valve isn't formed. Instead, a solid sheet of tissue blocks blood flow from the right side of your heart, so blood can't go to the lungs to pick up oxygen.

Many types of pulmonary valve disease are due to heart conditions present at birth (congenital heart defects). Treatment depends on the type and severity of pulmonary valve disease.