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About Pulmonary Valve Disease

With Melody® Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Therapy, congenital heart disease patients with failed pulmonary conduits have a revolutionary treatment option designed to restore pulmonary valve function while delaying the need for open-heart surgery.

Humanitarian Device

Authorized by Federal law (USA) for use in pediatric and adult patients with a regurgitant or stenotic Right Ventricular Outflow Tract (RVOT) conduit (≥ 16 mm in diameter when originally implanted). The effectiveness of this device for this use has not been demonstrated.

Definition

The most common congenital heart defects affecting the pulmonary valve include:

  • Pulmonary atresia
  • Great transposition of the arteries
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Double outlet right ventricle

Children or adults with these conditions have narrowed or missing pulmonary valves and need surgery for placement of a right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) or pulmonary conduit. A pulmonary conduit is a tube that opens up the RVOT and contains an artificial valve to control blood flow between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.

Pulmonary valve conduit failure occurs when an artificial pulmonary valve conduit stops working the way it should, preventing adequate blood flow from the heart to the lungs.

Causes of Conduit Failure

Over time, the conduit may become narrowed or begin to leak. This may happen as you outgrow the conduit or as the conduit wears out from the pressures of pumping blood or from calcium build up.

Pulmonary valve conduit failure is the result of one or both of the following conditions:

A Narrowed Conduit (Stenosis)

Detail - A Narrowed Conduit (Stenosis)

A Narrowed Conduit (Stenosis)

The conduit opening is narrowed, which limits blood flow from the heart to the lungs and forces the heart to work harder than normal. Stenosis may be caused by calcification of the conduit walls. Stenosis can make the heart muscle thick and stop it from working well. It can also limit the amount of blood pumped to the lungs.

A Leaky Conduit (Regurgitation)

Detail - A Leaky Conduit (Regurgitation)

A Leaky Conduit (Regurgitation)

The valve does not fully close, which allows blood to leak backward into the right ventricle of the heart. This causes the heart to pump harder than it should to bring blood to the lungs and the rest of your body.

Symptoms of Conduit Failure

Symptoms of pulmonary conduit failure can range from mild to severe. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor.

  • Becoming tired or short of breath with activity
  • Feeling tired, dizzy or too weak to do your normal activities
  • Irregular heart beats or the feeling that your heart is flip-flopping in your chest
  • Pain in your chest
  • Fainting

Diagnosis of Conduit Failure

Regular check ups and testing can help determine how your pulmonary valve conduit is working. To determine that you have a failing pulmonary valve conduit, your doctor may order these diagnostic tests:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart)

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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