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Regurgitation in Pulmonary Artery

Posted By  CCF Cardio MD on December 16, 1997 at 09:22:16:

In Reply to: Regurgitation in Pulmonary Artery posted by Pam on December 12, 1997 at 23:00:39:

: Hi,
  My 7 year old son was born with TGA. He underwent an arterial
  switch at the age of 6 days. Due to scarring of the pulmonary
  artery he developed PS and was reoperated on at the age of
  13 months. He once again developed severe PS and had an
  operation for it this past October, after an episode of
  bacterial endocarditis.
  We were told that we
  would be trading the PS for regurgitation. I have not been
  able to find much about regurgitation in the PA. What can you
  tell me about it? Are there any questions we should be asking
  his doctors to better understand it? Does regurgitation
  worsen over time? What is done to correct it if that happens?
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Avatar universal
Dear Pam,
Leaky pulmonary valve (or pulmonary regurgitation) is graded as 1+, 2+, 3+ or 4+ (trace, mild, moderate and severe). Pulmonary regurgitation leads to some increased work for the right ventricle but this is usually very well tolerated by the ventricle. Thus, only in very severe pulmonary regurgitation, rarely, surgical treatment is required. Most commonly, medications are enough to control the regurgitation. Treatment is directed towards the cause of pulmonary regurgitation. If it is secondary to endocarditis the amount of damage to the pulmonary valve from endocarditis would also be an important determinant. Right ventricular function and size are the important determinants of the long term outcome of pulmonary regurgitation. I think it would be important to understand why the doctors think that your son will develop pulmonary regurgitation as this will determine long term approach to the problem.  
Information provided in the Heart Forum is intended for general medical informational purposes only. Actual diagnosis and treatment of any particular medical condition can only be made by your family physician(s).
  Is there a rating scale for degrees of regurgitation?
  I'd appreciate any information you could give me about this.
  My son was sick after his operation (BE scare) and in the
  resulting "panic" we forgot to ask these questions.

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