Pulmonary Atresia | Treatment | MedStar Health

A problem with the valve that controls blood flow to your lungs

The pulmonary valve allows blood to flow from the heart to the lungs to get oxygen. Pulmonary atresia occurs when the pulmonary valve is underdeveloped or blocked and allows oxygen-poor blood to flow through the body. Pulmonary atresia is often a life-threatening condition that is treated within the first few weeks of life.

The team at our Adult Congenital Heart Center specializes in treating and managing heart problems like this that are present from birth. These complex conditions often require lifelong monitoring and unique care. Our team is involved in ongoing research and clinical trials to provide you the newest and most effective treatment options available.

What are the potential complications of pulmonary atresia?

Pulmonary atresia increases your risk of developing other heart conditions. You will likely require lifelong monitoring for:


Your doctor will likely schedule regular checkups and may recommend one or more diagnostic and imaging procedures to monitor your heart function.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.

Chest X-ray

Chest X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart, and chest wall.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.


An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Stress Tests

Stress tests are used to assess how your heart works during physical activity. There are several types of stress tests, including treadmill or bike stress tests, nuclear stress tests, stress echocardiograms and chemically induced stress tests.


Our heart and vascular teams work together and with other specialties to develop and implement personalized plans to treat and manage pulmonary atresia and the complications that can occur.

Heart Surgery

Heart surgery is an option to treat many heart conditions. You may need heart surgery either as a lifesaving procedure or when other treatments haven’t worked.

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Minimally invasive heart surgery is used whenever possible to reduce risks and shorten recovery time after surgery to treat a variety of conditions.

Pulmonary Valve Repair and Replacement

Pulmonary valve repair and replacement procedures include minimally invasive and traditional surgery as well as several types of replacement material.

Structural Heart and Valve Disease Treatments

Structural heart and valve disease treatments address defects or abnormalities with the heart’s muscle or valves with or without surgery.

Ask MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net. If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.