What is the pulmonary valve?
The pulmonary valve is the main outlet valve on the right side of the heart. It allows blue (deoxygenated) blood to leave the heart after the right ventricle has contracted. Once the blood has left the heart the pulmonary valve closes and stops any blood falling back into the right ventricle (right pump).
What is pulmonary regurgitation?
This is a condition where the pulmonary valve (the main outlet valve on the right side of the heart) does not close completely and lets blood leaks back into the right ventricle (right-sided pump) when the heart relaxes. Over time this will cause the right ventricle (right-sided pump) to become stretched.
What causes pulmonary regurgitation?
Mild pulmonary regurgitation is very common and should be considered normal. Moderate and severe pulmonary regurgitation is usually due to an abnormal pulmonary valve and usually congenital (a condition which developed in the womb and was present at birth). Pulmonary regurgitation is often seen in combination with other congenital heart conditions.
What are the treatment options available?
Most people with pulmonary regurgitation will not need any treatment. They will simply require surveillance of their valve over time with echocardiograms and sometimes cardiac MRI scans. If the pulmonary regurgitation is severe and there is a significant stretch on the heart, or you develop symptoms, then you may need a replacement pulmonary heart valve. This heart valve replacement procedure can either be an open-heart surgical procedure or a keyhole technique performed under