Heart murmurs: What should I know?

Innocent heart murmurs are produced by circulating blood via the chambers and valves of the heart or via the blood vessels near the heart. Most cases of heart murmurs are considered as harmless or innocent.

Are heart murmurs normal?

The innocent heart murmurs are prevalent among children and are relatively harmless. It is important to note that in any group of children, a high percentage is likely to have one at some point.


Most of the murmurs vanish once a child grows, but some adults still have murmurs.

Innocent murmurs might also settle and then reappear. Most of the murmurs vanish once a child grows, but some adults still have murmurs. Once the heart rate of the child change such as during fear or excitement, the innocent heart murmurs can become softer or louder.

Oftentimes, once the doctor detects the murmur via a stethoscope, other tests might be done to ensure that it is innocent. After this, there is no need for cardiac reassessment unless the individual or doctor has further questions.

In most cases, medications are not needed and the child will have no heart symptoms or develop any heart disease or issues. There is no need for parents to pamper the child or limit his/her activities or diet. The child can stay active as any other normal, healthy child.

What are the possible causes?

Heart murmurs are often brought about by a defective heart valve. If an individual has a stenotic heart valve, there is a smaller opening that could not fully open. The valve might not be able to completely close. As a result, regurgitation occurs where there is leakage of blood back to the valve when it must be closed.

The murmurs might able be brought about by some congenital defects and other ailments such as fever, pregnancy, anemia or thyrotoxicosis.

A murmur that arises once the heart muscle is relaxed between beats is known as a diastolic murmur. As for a systolic murmur, it occurs once the heart muscle contracts. The systolic murmurs are categorized based on its intensity from 1-6. The grade 1 is considered as the faintest and can only be heard with special effort. As for a grade 6 murmur, it is detected with a stethoscope slightly removed from the chest.


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