Pulmonary insufficiency

Pulmonary valve insufficiency
Classification and external resources
Specialty Cardiology
ICD-10 I37, Q22
ICD-9-CM 424.3, 746.09
DiseasesDB 11014
eMedicine med/1964
MeSH D011665

Pulmonary insufficiency (or incompetence, or regurgitation) is a condition in which the pulmonary valve is incompetent[1] and allows backflow from the pulmonary artery to the right ventricle of the heart during diastole.[2] While a small amount of backflow may occur ordinarily, it is usually only shown on an echocardiogram and is harmless. More pronounced regurgitation that is noticed through a routine physical examination is a medical sign of disease and warrants further investigation. If it is secondary to pulmonary hypertension it is referred to as a Graham Steell murmur.[3]

Signs and symptoms

Because pulmonic regurgitation is the result of other factors in the body, any noticeable symptoms are ultimately caused by an underlying medical condition rather than the regurgitation itself.[4] However, more severe regurgitation may contribute to right ventricular enlargement by dilation, and in later stages, right heart failure.[5] A diastolic decrescendo murmur can sometimes be identified,( heard best) over the left lower sternal border.


Rheumatic heart disease,

Among the causes of pulmonary insufficiency are:


The pathophysiology is due to diastolic pressure variations between the pulmonary artery and right ventricle, differences are often very small, but increase regurgitation. An elevation in pulmonary insufficiency due to elevated intrathoracic pressure is relevant in ventilated patients (having acute restrictive right ventricular physiology). The reasons for changes in stiffness of the right ventricle's walls are not well understood, but such stiffness is thought to increase with hypertrophy of the ventricle.[10]


In the diagnosis of pulmonary insufficiency both echocardiograms and EKG is used to ascertain if the individual has this condition, as well as, the use of a chest x-ray to expose enlargement of the right atrium or ventricle.[11]


In treating pulmonary insufficiency, it should be determined if pulmonary hypertension is causing the problem to therefore begin the most appropriate therapy as soon as possible (primary pulmonary hypertension or secondary pulmonary hypertension due to thromboembolism).[12] Furthermore, pulmonary insufficiency is generally treated by addressing the underlying condition,[4] in certain cases, the pulmonary valve may be surgically replaced.[13]

See also


  1. "Pulmonary Insufficiency". FreeDictionary. Farlex. 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  2. White, Charles S.; Haramati, Linda B.; Chen, Joseph Jen-Sho; Levsky, Jeffrey M. (2014-03-01). Cardiac Imaging. OUP USA. p. 402. ISBN 9780199829477.
  3. Auscultation Skills: Breath & Heart Sounds. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2009-10-01. p. 83. ISBN 9781605474540.
  4. 1 2 McGlothlin, edited by Michael H. Crawford, Komandoor Srivathson, Dana P. (2006). Current consult. New York, NY: Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-07144-010-3.
  5. 1 2 3 "Pulmonic Regurgitation Clinical Presentation". Medscale.com. eMedicine. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 Booker, editors, Carol L. Lake, Peter D. (2005). Pediatric cardiac anesthesia (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 430. ISBN 0-7817-5175-6. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  7. "pulmonary Valve disease". Patient.info. EMIS Group. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  8. Alpert, Joseph (2012). Cardiology and the Primary care Physician (3rd ed.). Current Medicine. p. 306. ISBN 978-1-4615-6603-8. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  9. O'Connor, Nicholas J. Talley, Simon (2014). Clinical examination : a systematic guide to physical diagnosis (Seventh ed.). Sydney [etc.]: Elsevier, Churchill Livingstone. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-72954-147-3. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  10. Chaturvedi, Rajiv R; Redington, Andrew N (2007-07-01). "Pulmonary regurgitation in congenital heart disease". Heart. 93 (7): 880–889. doi:10.1136/hrt.2005.075234. ISSN 1355-6037. PMC 1994453Freely accessible. PMID 17569817.
  11. "Pulmonary Valve Disease. About Pulmonary valve disease | Patient". Patient. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  12. "Pulmonic Regurgitation Treatment & Management: Medical Care, Surgical Care, Consultations".
  13. "Heart valve surgery: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". www.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2015-08-30.

Further reading

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