Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
14 year old pulmonary leakage
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14 year old pulmonary leakage

Hi.  I took my daughter to a cardiologist to rule out cardiac issues.  When exercising (karate and gym class), she can get short of breath and complains of chest pain, dizziness and nausea.  Her blood pressure was 135/64 at her exam.  Her EKG was normal.  When we had the echo done, the tech said she appeared to have MVP and a "very leaky pulmonic valve".  She said the pulmonic valve could be why she has trouble breathing when she works harder (she does not have asthma).  I waited for the cardiologist to call and he said he did not notice MVP and thought the pulmonary valve was a little leaky, he was not concerned about it.  I asked what about the symptoms and he chalked it up to being a kid.
Does this sound normal?  She is not a wimpy kid nor is she dramatic.
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First of all, it is important to remember that you should take medical information from the physician, and not from the technologist. The physician is correct:  pulmonary valve leakage is very common in children, in fact, we expect to see it in most normal children on echocardiography.  It has nothing to do with getting short of breath.  Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) can be overdiagnosed, so if the cardiologist was not impressed, then it is likely not present or trivial.  Even if MVP is present, it does not make you short of breath unless the mitral valve has a severe leakage;  I am sure that you would have been told if that was present.  If your child has exercise related symptoms, then you should talk to the cardiologist about doing an exercise stress test to try to reproduce her symptoms.  Additionally you should think about exercise induced reactive airways (even though she does not have a history of asthma).
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
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