Alternate Names : Pulmonic Atresia
Pulmonary atresia is a serious birth defect in the heart which causes congenital heart disease.
What is going on in the body?
The heart has four chambers. One of these chambers is called the right ventricle. The job of the right ventricle is to pump blood into the main lung arteries so the lungs can give oxygen to the blood. In pulmonary atresia, the opening of the right ventricle that leads to the main lung arteries is abnormally formed. The opening is either severely narrowed or absent. Blood cannot be effectively pumped into the lungs, which results in symptoms due to low oxygen in the blood. Affected babies usually have other heart and blood vessel defects as well.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
As with most birth defects, the cause is usually unknown. Some cases may be caused by:
infections passed from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy
certain medications taken by the mother during pregnancy, such as medications to control seizures
alcohol use by a woman during pregnancy
genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome