Murmurs in the heart are sound phenomena that can be heard when auscultating the heart with a stethoscope. They should be diagnosed, because they can be a symptom of the disease. What is a heart murmur?
Heart murmur – what it is
Murmurs over the heart are vibrations that occur when the flow of blood through heart valves and blood vessels is disturbed. The detection of murmurs is not tantamount to diagnosing the disease. Detection of murmurs raises understandable concern, but we should not always be afraid of them. Murmurs over the heart may occur physiologically. This so-called innocent murmurs that appear in most healthy children and some adults. They do not require further diagnostics, but if in doubt as to their origin, an echo is made. In adults, newly found murmurs of the heart are much more likely to be verified by echocardiography, as they can indicate the presence of valvular defects, which are one of the most common heart disease.
Causes of heart murmur
Some kind of valve malfunction: murmurs in the heart can be caused, for example, by mitral valve regurgitation. This is a genetic problem that may require some type of surgery in the long run.
Sometimes it is caused by diseases such as atherosclerosis, hence the proper health care and regular consultations with a cardiologist are of great importance.
Anemia is also believed to cause heart murmur. This statement is true and is caused by a shortage of red blood cells and therefore lower oxygen levels in the blood.
As a result, our heart is forced to pump blood faster, which can cause murmurs in the heart. Well, just watch out for your iron levels in this case!
Innocent heart murmurs
We speak of innocent murmurs when, despite their occurrence, no pathologies of the heart are found. Innocent murmurs are most common in preschool and school children, as well as in adults during fever or in pregnant women. To classify murmuring as innocent requires several of its characteristics, namely:
- volumes – from 1/6 to 3/6 on the Levine scale,
- variable volume or disappearance during: effort, emotions, fever,
- no radiation.
The most common innocent murmurs are:
- classic murmur – associated with turbulent blood flow during outflow from the left ventricle; it is a systolic murmur with a volume of 1-2 / 6,
- pulmonary artery burst murmur associated with turbulent blood flow during outflow from the right ventricle, best audible in supine position,
- venous buzzing – continuous, audible above the right clavicle resulting from blood flow in the jugular vein.
Diagnosis of heart murmurs is based on an interview, which brings a lot of important information, as well as physical examination. During auscultation of the heart, murmur is assessed and classified, and also looking for other irregularities, e.g. heart irregularities. After this, the doctor decides whether the patient should be under the care of a cardiologist.