Pulmonary Atresia | Testing and Diagnosis

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How is pulmonary atresia diagnosed?

Most babies with pulmonary atresia are diagnosed shortly after birth. In some cases, it is diagnosed before birth by a prenatal ultrasound.

If your baby is born with a bluish tint to the skin or other symptoms of pulmonary atresia, he or she will likely see a cardiologist (heart doctor). Sometimes pulmonary atresia is first suspected during newborn screening, using pulse oximetry, a painless bedside test that uses a light probe, attached to the hand or foot, to detect the amount of oxygen in the blood.

To diagnose pulmonary atresia, the cardiologist will examine the baby and measure the oxygen level in his or her blood. The cardiologist will also listen for a heart murmur — a noise heard through a stethoscope that’s caused by the turbulence of blood flow. This will give the cardiologist an initial idea of the kind of heart problem your baby may have.

What tests will my child need?

The cardiologist may order one or more of the following tests to help diagnose pulmonary atresia:

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