Pulmonary artery stenosis involves narrowing that arises in the pulmonary artery. This is a large-sized artery that transports deoxygenated blood to the lung to be infused with oxygen.
The resulting constriction might form in the main pulmonary artery as well as in the right or left pulmonary artery branches. The tightening makes it hard for the blood to reach the lungs to obtain oxygen. Once there is lack of oxygen, the heart and body could not function normally. As an approach to overcome the narrowing, the pressure in the right ventricle becomes elevated that it can damage the heart muscle.
What are the causes?
Pulmonary artery stenosis is a congenital heart condition which is already present at birth or inborn. The condition might be present along with other congenital heart conditions including:
- Pulmonary atresia
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Truncus arteriosus
- Pulmonary valve stenosis
- Patent ductus arteriosus
What are the indications?
In case the narrowing is less than 50%, the child might have no symptoms. Nevertheless, if the narrowing is more than 50%, the child might have the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heart rate
- Heavy or rapid breathing
- Swollen feet, face, ankles, eyelids and/or abdomen
Management of pulmonary artery stenosis
In case a child has been diagnosed with pulmonary artery stenosis, the doctor might suggest seeing a specialist. The ideal approach is based on the symptoms as well as the other characteristics of the disease.
For mild to moderate constriction in one or several pulmonary artery branches, treatment is not required. As for severe cases, it requires some form of treatment. Some of the commonly used treatment options include:
- Balloon dilation – this involves driving a balloon dilation catheter into the constricted region of the artery which is inflated until the area is widened.
- Balloon dilation and stent placement
- Cutting balloon – this procedure is the same as the standard balloon dilation but designed with small-sized blades throughout its length