Pulmonic regurgitation usually does not cause symptoms.
Doctors make the diagnosis because of physical examination findings, and they use echocardiography to confirm the diagnosis.
The underlying disorder is treated.
(See also Overview of Heart Valve Disorders Overview of Heart Valve Disorders Heart valves regulate the flow of blood through the heart's four chambers—two small, round upper chambers (atria) and two larger, cone-shaped lower chambers (ventricles). Each ventricle has... read more and the video .)
The pulmonic valve is in the opening between the right ventricle and the blood vessels going to the lungs (pulmonary arteries). The pulmonic valve opens as the right ventricle contracts to pump blood into the lungs. When the pulmonic valve does not close completely, some blood leaks backward from the pulmonary arteries into the right ventricle, termed regurgitation. (See also the video .)
The most common cause of pulmonic regurgitation is
The high pressure stresses the valve, causing it to leak.
Much less common causes are
A birth defect of the valve
Pulmonary artery enlargement
Surgery to repair a heart defect
Pulmonic regurgitation usually causes no symptoms. Sometimes people develop swollen ankles or fatigue.
Diagnosis of Pulmonic Regurgitation
Often pulmonic regurgitation is detected during an examination done for some other reason. Through a stethoscope, doctors may hear a characteristic murmur produced by the blood leaking backward through the pulmonic valve.
Echocardiography Echocardiography and Other Ultrasound Procedures Ultrasonography is a type of medical imaging that uses high-frequency (ultrasound) waves to produce a moving image of internal organs and other tissues. Echocardiography is ultrasonography of... read more can produce an image of the leaky valve and the amount of blood leaking, so that the severity of the regurgitation can be determined.
Treatment of Pulmonic Regurgitation
Treament of the underlying disorder
The condition causing pulmonic regurgitation is treated. Treatment may involve taking medications such as sildenafil or bosentan to reduce pulmonary hypertension. Very rarely, the pulmonary valve must be replaced.
The following English-language resource may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.
American Heart Association: Heart Valve Disease: Provides comprehensive information on diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the heart valves
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