A heart murmur is an unusual sound produced by turbulent blood flow, heard between heartbeats over a stethoscope. A murmur can be totally harmless (innocent murmurs) and not cause symptoms or indicate an underlying heart condition, (abnormal murmur), or other medical issues. An abnormal murmur discovered in children is generally due to a congenital heart defect. Every year, approximately 25,000 babies are born with heart defects, such as holes in heart walls or abnormal valves. Abnormal murmurs detected in adults are more likely to be the result of an acquired heart valve problem, or other health issues, such as anemia, high blood pressure or overactive thyroid.
If your doctor discovers a heart murmur during your physical exam, he or she will recommend one or more of the following tests to determine its cause.
Innocent heart murmurs do not require any treatment. Treatment for an abnormal murmur will depend on the diagnosed cause. In many instances, your cardiologist may want to initially just monitor the condition. If treatment is required, again it will depend on the specific issue but may entail medication and or surgery.