Health Information

 

 

Heart Murmur

A heart murmur is a sound made by blood moving through the chambers and valves of the heart or through the blood vessels near the heart. The sounds can be heard through a stethoscope.

Heart murmurs are common in infants and children and are harmless in most cases. The murmurs usually are not a problem, require no treatment, and go away on their own. Pregnancy, fever, and some types of anemia can also lead to temporary heart murmurs. But some adults have harmless heart murmurs that do not go away.

A heart murmur may sometimes mean there is a more serious problem with the heart walls or heart valves, such as narrowing or leaking of a heart valve (stenosis or regurgitation) or an infection of a heart valve (endocarditis). These problems can cause blood to flow abnormally through the heart valves or chambers, causing a murmur or other sound that the doctor can hear with the stethoscope. These conditions require close monitoring and may require treatment.

Last Revised: July 6, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & George Philippides, MD - Cardiology & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.