Murmurs are sounds made by blood circulating through the heart's chambers or valves, or through blood vessels near the heart.
Heart murmurs may be caused by a number of factors or diseases, including the following:
Your child's physician will evaluate a murmur based on several factors. Murmurs are analyzed for pitch, loudness, and duration. They also are graded according to their intensity (on a scale of one to six, with one being very faint and six being very loud).
Types of murmurs include the following:
Not all heart murmurs are symptoms of heart disease. Sometimes, a murmur may be heard in a normal child who has a fever or who is anemic; these murmurs often go away when the underlying problem is treated.
Some children have what is known as an innocent murmur. These murmurs are not related to congenital heart defects, and usually resolve by the time a child reaches adulthood. If your child's physician hears an innocent murmur, he/she may want to perform additional tests to ensure a heart defect is not present. A child with an innocent murmur can live a normal life and be as active as any other healthy child.
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Read More of Maren's Story
Earlier this year, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a scientific statement on the diagnosis and treatment of fetal cardiac disease written by a team of cardiac and obstetrical experts with lead author, Mary T. Donofrio, MD, Director of the Fetal Heart Program and Medical Director of the Critical Care Delivery Program for the Fetal Medicine Institute at Children’s National Health System.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect. Approximately 8 per every 1,000 babies are born with a form of CHD and about 280 outwardly healthy babies are discharged from hospitals every year with unrecognized CHD.