Premature pulmonary valve opening.
Premature opening of the pulmonary valve (opening independent of atrial or ventricular systole) was originally described in a case of sinus of Valsalva rupture into the right atrium. Since that time we have observed five additional cases in which the pulmonary valve opened prematurely. Entities encountered included: 1) constrictive pericarditis; 2) Loeffler's endocarditis; 3) Ebstein's anomaly with tricuspid regurgitation; 4) tricuspid regurgitation following tricuspid valvulectomy, and 5) pulmonary regurgitation accompanied by atrial septal defect. In the first two cases, premature pulmonary valve opening is felt to be due to restriction of diastolic filling of the right ventricle with subsequent early diastolic rise in pressure equalling or exceeding pulmonary artery diastolic pressure. In the latter three cases, the increased volume of blood entering the right ventricle again appeared to result in a rapid rise in initial right ventricular diastolic pressure and to produce premature opening of the pulmonary valve. Premature pulmonary valve opening, therefore, does not appear specific for any particular clinical entity but reflects the relative pressures in the right ventricle and pulmonary artery during diastole.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association