Heart murmurs are extra or unusual sounds made by blood moving through the heart. Murmurs are graded on a scale of 1 to 6, with 1 being very faint and 6 being very loud.
Types of murmurs include:
Heart murmurs are common in normal, healthy children. These may be called innocent murmurs. Or a child may be born with a heart defect that causes a murmur. Other causes include:
Children with innocent murmurs have no other symptoms except the abnormal heart sounds. A child with a heart murmur caused by a heart problem may have the following symptoms. They vary depending on the problem.
The symptoms of heart murmur can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. During an exam, the provider will listen to your child's heart with a stethoscope. If the provider hears an abnormal sound, he or she may refer you to a pediatric cardiologist. This is a doctor with special training to treat children with heart problems. Tests include:
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Many heart murmurs are normal, extra sounds in children with strong, healthy hearts. These children don’t need treatment. Some of these heart murmurs may go away on their own.
If the murmur is from a congenital heart defect, treatment may include medicine, procedures, or surgery. If the murmur is from another condition, the heart murmur will usually lessen or go away once the condition is treated.
Call your child's healthcare provider if your child has any symptoms of heart disease such as:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: