Heart Murmur

by Creytisha Gray

What is a heart murmur?

Heart murmurs are sounds during your heartbeat cycle (like whooshing or swishing) made by irregular blood flow in or near your heart. There are two types: innocent (normal heart, rapid blood flow) and abnormal (due to acquired heart valve problems, i.e, stenosis or regurgitation-related).

Symptoms?

There are not any obvious signs.

How it is diagnosed

During a physical exam, the doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to your heartbeat and if you have a heart murmur, he or she can hear the abnormal noises.

How does it occur?

Innocent:
  • Physical activity or exercise
  • Pregnancy
  • Fever
  • (Anemia) Not having enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body tissues)
  • Excessive amount of thyroid hormone in your body (hyperthyroidism)
  • Phases of rapid growth, such as adolescence
Abnormal:

  • Holes in the heart or cardiac shunts
  • Heart valve abnormalities
  • Valve calcification
  • Endocarditis
  • Rheumatic fever

Treatments? Cures?

Innocent: does not require treatment because the heart is normal

Abnormal: may not require treatment, but if so one or more of these will be prescribed:

  • Anticoagulants (prevents blood clots)
  • Water pills (removes excess fluids from body)
  • ACE inhibitors (lower blood pressure)
  • Statins (lower cholesterol)
  • Beta blockers (lower heart rate and blood pressure)

The prognosis.

For an innocent murmur, the prognosis is excellent.

For abnormal, the prognosis really depends on the severity/condition of the murmur. But treatment, in most cases, produces a good prognosis.

Who's effected?

It can happen in children or adults.
What is a heart murmur?

Sources

"Heart Murmur Treatment, Prognosis." Heart Murmur. Health Communities, 18 Nov. 2008. Web. 12 Jan. 2016. <http://www.healthcommunities.com/heart-murmur/treatment.shtml>.


"How Is a Heart Murmur Diagnosed?" Heart Murmur, Diagnosed. NHLBI, 20 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 Jan. 2016. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/heartmurmur/diagnosis>.


"Heart Murmurs." - Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2016. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-murmurs/basics/definition/con-20028706>.