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Open Access Open Badges Case report

Discrete subpulmonic membrane in association with isolated severe pulmonary valvar stenosis

Endale Tefera1*, Ramón Bermudez-Cañete2 and Lola Rubio3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics & Child Health, School of Medicine, Addis Ababa, University & Cardiac Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2 Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Cardiac Center Ethiopia, Ramon y Cajal University Hospital, Madrid, Spain

3 Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Cardiac Center Ethiopia, La Paz Hospital, Madrid, Spain

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2013, 13:43  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-13-43

Published: 21 June 2013



Subpulmonic membrane as a cause of right ventricular outflow tract obstruction in patients with concordant ventriculoarterial connection and intact ventricular septum is considered to be rare.

Case presentation

A 7 – year – old boy was referred to a tertiary care hospital with complaints of dyspnea on moderate exertion and palpitations of about 2 years duration. Physical examination revealed parasternal lift, systolic thrill and a 4/6 ejection systolic murmur, best heard over the left 2nd intercostal space. His oxygen saturation was 88% on room air. Two-dimensional echocardiography showed a thickened pulmonary valve with fused leaflets that show severe systolic doming. There was a discrete subpulmonic membrane about 1.3 cm below the pulmonary valve annulus. Continuous wave Doppler interrogation showed peak systolic pressure gradient of 185 mmHg across the pulmonary valve. Balloon dilation of the pulmonary valve was performed and the pressure gradient came down to 50 mmHg. Follow-up transthoracic echocardiography showed residual pressure gradient of about 50 – 60 mmHg across the pulmonary valve. The residual pressure gradient appeared to be mainly subvalvar, as seen on the continuous wave Doppler tracing. The patient reported marked improvement in terms of exercise tolerance and subjective symptoms.


Association of subpulmonic membrane with severe pulmonary valvar stenosis, concordant ventriculoarterial connection and intact ventricular septum is rare. When it occurs, the result of percutaneous valve dilation may be suboptimal.

Subpulmonic membrane; Right ventricular outflow; Pulmonary stenosis; Percutaneous valvotomy