Pulmonary valve

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Pulmonary valve
Diagram of the human heart (cropped).svg
Anterior (frontal) view of the opened heart. White arrows indicate normal blood flow.
Heart seen from above.
Latin valva trunci pulmonalis
Gray's subject #138 532
MeSH Pulmonary+Valve

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Synonyms and Keywords: Pulmonic valve


The pulmonary valve is the semilunar valve of the heart that lies between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery and has three cusps.

Similar to the aortic valve, the pulmonic valve opens in ventricular systole, when the pressure in the right ventricle rises above the pressure in the pulmonary artery. At the end of ventricular systole, when the pressure in the right ventricle falls rapidly, the pressure in the pulmonary artery will close the pulmonic valve.

The closure of the pulmonic valve contributes the P2 component of the second heart sound (S2).

The right heart is a low-pressure system, so the P2 component of the second heart sound is usually softer than the A2 component of the second heart sound. However, it is physiologically normal in some young people to hear both components separated during inhalation.

Normal Anatomy

  • Pulmonary valve is located at the distal part of the right ventricular outflow tract at the junction of the pulmonary artery.
  • It is located anterior and superior to the aortic valve at the level of the third intercostal space and separated from the tricuspid valve by the infundibulum of the right ventricle.
  • It is comprised of three equal sized, semilunar cusps or leaflets (right, left, anterior), nomenclature based on the corresponding aortic valve.
  • The three cusps are joined by commissures and the cusps are thinner when compared to the aortic valve, due to a low pressure in the right ventricle.
  • The area of the valve is related to body surface area and men usually have greater valve area when compared with women.[1]
  • The normal orifice area is approximately around 3cm².[2]
  • The pulmonary valve opens in the right ventricular systole allowing the deoxygenated blood to be delivered to the lungs.
  • During the right ventricular diastole the pulmonary valves close completely to prevent regurgitation of blood into the right ventricle.

Congenital Abnormalities

Related Chapters


  1. Capps SB, Elkins RC, Fronk DM (2000). "Body surface area as a predictor of aortic and pulmonary valve diameter". J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 119 (5): 975–82. doi:10.1016/S0022-5223(00)70092-4. PMID 10788818.
  2. Singh B, Mohan JC (1992). "Doppler echocardiographic determination of aortic and pulmonary valve orifice areas in normal adult subjects". Int J Cardiol. 37 (1): 73–8. PMID 1428292.