What is a heart murmur?
Heart murmur – sound, published by the blood flow in the heart. They sound like whistling or rustling, appearing with every heartbeat. Some adults and many children have incidental heart murmurs, which are benign (harmless), and not caused by heart disease. At least, 30% children may be harmless heart murmur at some point in childhood. However, some heart murmurs can signal heart problems.
Causes of heart murmur
Benign noise caused by the normal flow of blood through the heart and major blood vessels near the heart. Noise may appear and disappear over time. Several reasons, that may increase the blood flow and cause benign heart murmurs include:
- Exercise stress;
The appearance of abnormal heart murmurs can cause the following diseases and disorders:
- Structural abnormalities of the heart valves (the most common cause) – It can be congenital (present from birth) or acquired later in life;
- Examples of anomalies include:
- Mytralnыy stenosis;
- Mitral regurgitation;
- Aortalnыy stenosis;
- Aortic regurgitation;
- Trehstvorchatoho valve stenosis;
- Tricuspid regurgitation;
- Stenosis of pulmonary artery;
- Abnormal openings or connections in the heart or vessels, that persist after birth:
- Defects in the partition between the chambers of the heart;
- Patent ductus arteriosus;
- Structural abnormalities of the heart muscle:
- Congenital (eg, gipertroficheskaya cardiomyopathy);
- Acquired defects (eg, myocardial infarction, heart failure, prolonged high blood pressure);
- Other congenital heart disease, such as:
- Coarctation of the aorta in a child;
- Hypoplastic left-heart syndrome;
- Ebstein Anomaly;
- Tetrada Fallo;
- Endokardit – infection inner shell heart valves and chambers (endokarda);
- Cardiac myxoma – a benign tumor of the soft tissue inside the heart (rarely).
Risk factors for the appearance of noise near the
Factors, raising the likelihood of benign heart murmurs include:
- Age: 3-7 years;
Factors, increase the likelihood of abnormal heart murmurs:
- Rheumatic fever;
- High blood pressure;
- Autoimmune diseases;
- Birth defects or heart disease.
Heart murmur symptoms
Benign heart murmurs, usually, do not cause symptoms. Patients with mitral valve prolapse sometimes complain of mild discomfort in the chest and other symptoms. It remains unclear, Does the symptoms of valve anomalies.
Signs and symptoms of abnormal heart murmurs can include:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing;
- Blue lips (cyanosis);
- Chest pain;
- Problems with the heartbeat (feeling of rapid or irregular heartbeat);
- Negative symptoms during exercise;
- Slow growth in children.
Heart murmur – when you need to see a doctor?
If you think, that you or your child has a heart murmur, you should seek medical advice.
The diagnosis of heart murmurs
Most benign heart murmurs are diagnosed during a routine physical exam with a stethoscope. Some abnormal heart murmurs are also discovered this way. Other abnormal heart murmurs are discovered after a visit to a doctor at the initial appearance of symptoms.
Tests may include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) – does not allow to diagnose the cause of the noise, but it provides other useful information on the state of the heart;
- Chest X-ray – to determine the approximate size and shape of the heart, and the presence of pulmonary edema;
- Echocardiogram – It allows you to explore the size, shape and motion of the heart;
- Heart catheterization – It is used to detect problems with the structure of the heart, function and blood supply;
- Blood tests, to check for a possible heart attack or other diseases, that can affect the heart (eg, kidney disease, infection, autoimmune diseases).
Murmur – treatment
Benign heart murmurs require no treatment. Treatment of other heart murmurs depends on the cause and extent of the problem.
Treatment includes a heart murmur:
Medication for the treatment of heart murmurs
Medications can either treat the cause of heart disease, associated with noise, or help compensate for dysfunction of the heart:
- Diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme, digitalis preparations – for the treatment of heart failure;
- Antibiotics – for the prevention or treatment of endocarditis.
The operation to treat a heart murmur
Operation is often necessary to treat severe heart abnormalities. For this purpose:
- Replacement of defective heart valves with artificial;
- Correction of congenital heart defects;
- Removal of heart tumors.
Preventing a heart murmur
Preventing benign heart murmurs is not necessary. To reduce the risk of abnormal heart murmurs:
- It is necessary to promptly treat strep throat (strep throat infection), to prevent rheumatism;
- It is necessary to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, to help prevent valvular heart disease in the distant future. For this:
- Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables;
- Exercise regularly;
- If you smoke, to throw;
- If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, We need early treatment of these diseases.
You may need to take antibiotics before and after some medical or dental procedures, which may cause a risk of infection into the bloodstream. Talk to your doctor, whether you need to take antibiotics for the prevention of.