Pulmonary Artery Stenosis

What Is Pulmonary Artery Stenosis?

Pulmonary Artery StenosisIt's a narrowing of the pulmonary artery.

Pulmonary arteries are the vessels that take unoxygenated “blue” blood from the heart to the lungs to become oxygenated.

Having small or narrow pulmonary arteries causes the right heart to work harder. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, breathing problems, and a fast heart rate.

Without treatment, pulmonary artery stenosis can cause right heart failure.

Refer a Patient to the Interventional Cardiology Program at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

To refer a patient, doctors can:

The path your blood takes

Your blood:

  1. Enters the heart's top right chamber.
  2. Gets pumped to the heart's bottom right chamber.
  3. Flows through the main pulmonary artery (MPA) and to the lungs through the right and left pulmonary arteries.
  4. Moves through the lung fields and fills up with oxygen again.
  5. Returns to the heart as “pink” blood that gets pumped out to the body.

Pulmonary artery stenosis and other heart conditions

Pulmonary artery stenosis occurs in many congenital heart defects, such as:

  • Tetralogy of Fallot.
  • Pulmonary atresia.

It can also occur with some genetic disorders, such as:

  • DiGeorge syndrome.
  • Alagille syndrome.
  • Williams syndrome.

How Do You Treat Pulmonary Artery Stenosis in the Heart Cath Lab?

Cases where the narrowing is closest to the MPA will need open-heart surgery.

In the Heart Cath Lab at UPMC Children's Hospital, we use balloon dilation to treat the small vessels that enter into lungs.

During this minimally invasive treatment for pulmonary artery stenosis, your doctor will:

  • Make a small incision in your groin and insert a special balloon-tipped catheter into the narrowed vessel.
  • Inflate the balloon briefly, and then deflate it. The goal is to enlarge the vessel.
  • Remove the balloon and catheter.

Some people may need a stent to keep the vessel open if balloon dilation alone doesn't work. You'll need to take blood thinners for a while after receiving a stent.

After balloon dilation or stenting, you'll stay overnight in the hospital so we can observe you.