Pulmonary valve disease is a condition in which the pulmonary valve — the 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 function properly. This condition can keep blood from flowing properly from your heart to your lungs.
When working properly, the pulmonary valve acts like a one-way door from your heart's right ventricle to your lungs. Oxygen-depleted 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. Pulmonary valve stenosis is a condition in which a deformity on or near your pulmonary valve reduces the blood flow from the heart to the pulmonary artery and to the lungs.
- Pulmonary valve regurgitation. In this condition, the flaps (cusps) of the pulmonary valve don't close tightly, causing blood to leak backward into the right ventricle.
- Pulmonary atresia. In pulmonary atresia — a condition present at birth (congenital) — the pulmonary valve isn't formed, and a solid sheet of tissue blocks the blood flow between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery. Blood from the right side of your heart can't go back 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.