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Symptoms of Heart Murmur

Most heart murmurs in children are the kind called innocent murmurs. They don’t mean there’s a problem with the heart or anything else in the body. They are harmless and usually go away on their own by the time the child becomes an adult.

By itself, a heart murmur doesn’t cause symptoms, particularly if it is one of the innocent murmurs. If some condition, like a heart defect or problem with heart valves, caused the heart murmur, this condition might cause other signs or symptoms. These signs and symptoms would depend on the heart condition and how severe it is.

Heart Murmur Diagnosis

If your child’s doctor hears a murmur when listening to your child’s heart, they will listen for details about the sound. These details can give clues about the cause.

Your child’s doctor will listen for details like when the sound happens, where in the chest it can be heard, how high pitched it is, how long it lasts and how it sounds when your child does certain movements or gets in certain positions.

The doctor will examine your child and ask about their health history and your family health history. For many children with a murmur, these steps may be all they need to determine if a murmur is innocent or from a structural heart problem.

To get more information about how your child’s heart looks and works, your child may also need tests, like one or more of these: echocardiographyelectrocardiogramchest X-raysMRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the heart, or cardiac catheterization.

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Spring 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

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Download Spring 2014 (PDF)