The pulmonary valve controls blood flow between the heart and the lungs. In pulmonary valve stenosis, the valve narrows, restricting blood flow to the lungs. In pulmonary valve regurgitation, the valve does not close completely, allowing blood to flow backward into the heart. Pulmonary valve stenosis can cause the heart to work harder, ultimately damaging the muscle and leading to heart failure, while pulmonary valve regurgitation can cause enlargement in the right ventricle, one of the four chambers of the heart.
Pulmonary valve stenosis most often occurs as a result of a congenital defect (present from birth), but can also be caused by rheumatic fever (often associated with untreated strep throat or scarlet fever) or endocarditis (inflammation of the lining inside the heart), among other conditions. Symptoms may include chest pain, fatigue, fainting and shortness of breath.
Pulmonary valve regurgitation may occur as a result of a number of conditions, including endocarditis and pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure). Symptoms may include chest pain, fainting, shortness of breath, fatigue and a bluish tint to the skin (cyanosis).