Pulmonary Vein Stenosis

What Is Pulmonary Vein Stenosis?

Pulmonary Vein StenosisIt's a narrowing of the pulmonary vessels that bring oxygenated “pink” blood back to the heart from the lungs.

Narrowing of these veins:

  • Causes increased blood pressure in the lung, called pulmonary hypertension.
  • Can also alter blood flow to the lung.
  • May need heart surgery to enlarge them.

Sometimes, we see people with pulmonary vein stenosis in the Heart Cath Lab at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Your doctor may refer you to us to learn more about the narrowing and possibly try to widen the veins.

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

To refer a patient, doctors can:

Pulmonary veins and the path your blood takes

Your blood travels:

  1. From the right side of the heart into the lungs, where it fills up with oxygen.
  2. Through the pulmonary veins, which take it to the top then bottom left heart chambers.
  3. Out through the aorta to the body.

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

We use balloon dilation to enlarge the pulmonary veins.

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

  • Make a small incision in your groin.
  • Insert a special catheter with a balloon on the end into the narrowed vein.
  • Inflate the balloon briefly, and then deflate it. The goal is to enlarge the pulmonary vein and release the stenosis.
  • Remove the balloon and catheter.

Some people may need a stent to keep the vein open if the balloon technique alone doesn't work. You'll need to take blood thinners for some time after receiving a stent.

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