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Pediatric » Pediatric Orthopedics

What Does a Heart Murmur Mean for Congenital Heart Diseases???

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A heart murmur is a sound that emanates from blood flowing through the valves and chambers of a heart. While most murmurs are solely functional, children’s cardiology associates some of them with a heart condition, specifically a congenital heart disease.

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What Is a Heart Murmur?

Between heartbeats, a whooshing sound can be heard if a stethoscope is used to listen intently. This sound has a rhythm, a pattern, and is generated when the blood flows inside a heart.

What Does It Mean?

An innocent heart murmur means nothing. It is common, might reappear after disappearing, and might get loud or soft depending on the level of excitement in the kid.

However, when the murmur isn’t functional or ‘innocent’, it is the sign that something is wrong with the heart. A doctor can tell that there is a problem with the rhythm of a murmur.

It could be an issue with the valves, or it could be the indication of a condition that is making the heart work harder and beyond its capability. This indication might be a congenital condition related to a children’s cardiology or a sign of growing up.

What Causes a Heart Murmur?

The primary non-innocent cause behind a heart defect is a defective valve. If a heart valve can’t open or close properly or wholly or the general direction of blood flow gets interrupted, this could cause a heart murmur.

Certain types of congenital heart diseases (for instance, a hole in the heart valve or abnormal valves) can cause heart murmurs as well. Pregnancy, an overactive thyroid gland, high blood pressure, anaemia, or fever can also cause heart murmurs to arise.

Diagnosing and Separating the Innocent Murmurs from the Harmful Ones

Mostly, the initial diagnosis of a murmur happens during a physical exam. A doctor can tell if a murmur has occurred by using a stethoscope. Further tests are ordered to determine the nature of these murmurs.

These include:

  • Electrocardiogram(EKG) for the measurement of the heart’s electrical activity
  • Chest X-Ray for determining whether an enlarged heart and thus any congenital heart condition is causing the murmurs.
  • Echocardiography

Symptoms of a Heart Murmur

While a heart murmur itself could be a possible symptom of a heart condition, it's better to go to the doctor if the murmur patient already has a congenital heart disease. Symptoms might also include the following.

  • Breathlessness
  • Increased sweating
  • Declined weight gain process
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Intolerance to physical activities
  • Frequent falls in blood pressure and fainting

Treating It

If the heart murmur is innocent, no treatment is needed. Other times, the underlying cause is determined and treated accordingly.

If it is a congenital valve condition that is causing the murmur mayhem, it is treated with medicine, corrective surgery, or long-term procedures, depending on how severe the condition is.

If it's some other congenital heart defect, surgery and treatment follow.

Is A Heart Murmur Fatal?

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