Pulmonary Atresia

What is Pulmonary Atresia?

Pulmonary atresia is a form of heart disease in which the pulmonary valve does not form properly. It is present from birth, and is associated with a different type of congenital heart disease, known as a patent ductus arteriosus. The pulmonary valve is an opening on the right side of the heart that regulates blood flow from the right ventricle (right side pumping chamber) to the lungs. Because blood does not directly flow from the right ventricle of the heart to pulmonary artery, it uses different routes to avoid the disorganized pulmonary valve. People with this disease, but with a proper ventricular septum, might have a terribly developed tricuspid valve. Such people might also develop an underdeveloped right ventricle and abnormal blood vessels that feed the heart.

In this disease, while the fetus is developing, it is no threat to life because the placenta is used to provide oxygen to the baby when the lungs are not functioning. Blood that enters the right side of the fetal heart passes through an opening called the foramen ovale, so the oxygen rich blood is allowed to move through to the left side of heart to the rest of the body.


It is only after birth that the symptoms are noted. If a newborn baby turns blue (cyanotic) when that maternal source of oxygen is removed, it indicates that the baby is suffering from the disorder. Cyanosis does not come alone, but relates to the presence of some defects that give way to the mixing of blood, involving an open ductus arteriosus.
Symptoms of Pulmonary Atresia may include:

  • Breathing difficulty.
  • Excessive fatigue or sweating.
  • Pale looking skin that may be even sensitive to touch.
  • Improper eating habits.



There is no cause of this disease as such. However, it is believed to cause difficulty during early pregnancy.



The main risk factors of this disease include:

  • Drinking alcohol at the time of pregnancy.
  • Mother having diabetes.
  • Smoking at the time of pregnancy.
  • Presence of down syndrome.



In order to prevent the occurrence of the disease, one should take care of the following:

  • Avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption.
  • Taking a healthy diet.
  • Taking adequate rest.


How is it diagnosed?

Pulmonary Atresia is generally diagnosed during pregnancy or immediately as the baby is born. Some screening tests are always recommended during pregnancy to check if there are any birth defects or...

How is it treated?

The treatment of pulmonary atresia is dependent on its extent of severity. At Medanta, following are the techniques of treatment used:


  • Medications

    Medications namely prostaglandin E1 will help the blood to run into the lungs. It will leave the blood vessel open between aorta and the pulmonary artery.


  • Heart catheterization

    It is a technique where a long thin tube could be used to pass through the vein and threaded through blood vessels to the heart.


  • Open heart surgery

    It is another way to repair the valve, by placing a tube between the pulmonary arteries and the right ventricle.


  • Heart transplant

    If no other method works well, a heart transplant may be needed to fix the disease.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should immediately consult a doctor if you begin to face symptoms such as breathing difficulty, fatigue, and sweating. All these symptoms are going to be treated just right with the help of our medical expertise at Medanta.

Book an Appointment

How does Medanta provide care?


Consult with experienced doctors

  • Have a question?

    Call us +91 - 124 - 4141414