To better understand the hemodynamics of pulmonary stenosis (PS), 24 adults and 53 children with similar degrees of PS who had undergone cardiac catheterization at rest and during supine exercise were retrospectively studied. Three groups were defined. Group I consisted of 9 adults and 18 children with a pulmonary valve area of less tjan 0.5 cm2/m2; group II, 6 adults and 25 children with a pulmonary valve area of 0.5 to 1.0 cm2/m2; and group III, 9 adults and 10 children with pulmonary valve area of more than 1.0 cm2/m2. The mean ages of the adults were 29, 26 and 22 years for groups I, II, and III, respectively. The mean ages of the children were 11, 10 and 9 years for groups I, II and III, respectively. The pertinent data collected from catheterization included oxygen consumption, cardiac rate and index, arterial venous oxygen difference, stroke index, right ventricular (RV) systolic pressure and RV end-diastolic pressure. Adults and children in groups II and III had a appropriate response to exercise. Group I children responded abnormally by increasing their RV end-diastolic pressure and decreasing their stroke index. In group I adults both of these variables increased. Group I adults exhibited a significantly lower cardiac index at rest and exercise secondary to a significantly lower absolute cardiac rate. Long-standing severe PS results in hemodynamic compromise. Hence, early relief of PS is recommended.