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Pulmonary atresia – causes, side effects and treatments at

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 by

Pulmonary atresia is a condition where the pulmonary valve isn’t properly formed, resulting in the inability of the from the right side of the heart from flowing to the lungs to get oxygen. In particular, the pulmonary valve regulates blood flow from the right ventricle to the lungs, providing them with oxygen.

A person with pulmonary atresia will have a solid sheet of tissue blocking the passage of where the valve opening should be.

There are two types of pulmonary atresia, namely:

Known risk factors and symptoms of pulmonary atresia

Pulmonary atresia is a congenital heart disease, that is, a defect that is already present at the time of birth. The cause of pulmonary atresia – which occurs in around one in 10,000 live births – is unclear, like other forms of heart defects found in newborns. It’s said that the condition may be caused by changes in genes or chromosomes, while some believe that it has something to do with what a mother gets in contact with during pregnancy, such as food or environment.

Common symptoms of pulmonary atresia, which appear within the first few hours or days of life, include the following.

  • Rapid breathing
  • Bluish skin, especially the around the lips, fingers, and toes
  • Cool, pale, or clammy skin
  • Difficulties in breathing
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Poor feeding

Body systems affected by Pulmonary atresia

Pulmonary atresia may lead to the following complications:

  • A delay in growth and development
  • Heart failure, due to lack of oxygenated blood
  • Infectious endocarditis or infection of the heart valves
  • Stroke due to decreased oxygen that goes to the brain

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve pulmonary atresia

There is little information on diets that may prevent pulmonary atresia. However, here are some food items tagged “good for the heart” that can help improve heart health:

  • Salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and trout – which are rich in omega-3
  • Healthy nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries
  • Flaxseed
  • Rolled Oats
  • Dark beans such as kidney beans and black beans
  • Red wine
  • Tofu
  • Red, yellow, and orange vegetables
  • Spinach

The following supplements are also beneficial for the heart:

  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Pantethine
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin
  • D-Ribose
  • L-Carnitine
  • Vitamin K

Since pulmonary atresia is a congenital disease, it’s best for mothers to consume food items that are good for the heart. Furthermore, children who are living with the condition must also eat healthy food to support a healthy heart.

Treatment and management options for pulmonary atresia

Babies diagnosed with this disease need immediate medical attention. The severity of the condition will tell which type of surgery will be done. Most of the time, healthcare professionals will administer an intravenous drug called prostaglandin to prevent the closure of the natural connection (ductus arteriosus) between the pulmonary artery and the aorta.

Where to learn more


Pulmonary atresia is a congenital heart disease that stops the blood from properly flowing to pick up oxygen. Babies with this condition require immediate medical attention.

Symptoms often include rapid breathing, a bluish tinge to the skin, cool, pale, or clammy skin, irritability, and poor feeding.

This condition can cause a delay in growth and development and may lead to more severe health conditions like stroke and heart failure.

Foods rich in omega-3, magnesium, and vitamin K, and a diet with red, yellow and orange vegetables are great at preventing pulmonary atresia.

Treatment for this disease depends on the severity. Patients may undergo heart surgeries to put the condition under control.

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