Pulmonary Regurgitation | Symptoms and Treatment | MedStar Health

A leakage of blood between the heart and the lungs

Blood flows from the heart into the lungs through the pulmonary valve. In cases of pulmonary regurgitation, the valve leaks some of this blood back into the heart before it reaches the lungs. This condition is a form of pulmonary valve disease.

Our pulmonary hypertension clinic provides advanced testing and clinical trials for pulmonary hypertension not available anywhere else. For cases that require treatment of the pulmonary valve itself, our structural heart and valvular disease program evaluates and cares for a wide range of heart valve conditions.

Pulmonary regurgitation is usually caused by pulmonary hypertension, which is a form of high blood pressure in the lungs. In some cases, congenital heart conditions, or those present from birth, can cause this disease.

What are the symptoms of pulmonary regurgitation?

You may not notice any symptoms early on in the disease process. Your doctor may notice a heart murmur during a regular exam.

Eventually, pulmonary regurgitation can lead to an enlargement of the heart’s right ventricle (a type of cardiomyopathy or heart failure).


Your doctor may first notice this condition by listening to your heart during a normal exam. A chest X-ray and an echocardiogram can help confirm the diagnosis. Other tests may also be ordered.

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.

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.


Treatment often focuses on addressing the condition’s core cause. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a pulmonary valve replacement.

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.

Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Replacement (TPVR)

Transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement (TPVR) is a minimally invasive option to replace a damaged pulmonary valve that reduces blood flow from the heart to the lungs.


Have questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net.