Heart murmur – Characteristics, Types, Causes, and Consequences
Heart Murmur is an unusual sound heard on auscultation of the heart using a stethoscope.
It occurs between the usual heart sounds, filling the silent phases.
It is more or less characteristic of the disorder associated with the pathology.
These noises are produced by turbulence in the flow of blood to the heart.
The general practitioner or the cardiologist perceives it during auscultation via the stethoscope.
However, a normal heart can sometimes make noises without experiencing any malformations.
- Intensity is usually measured from 0 to 6 and from 0 to 4, depending on the classifications.
- Its timbre more or less rough, more or less rigid.
- Some heart murmurs are said to be inorganic.
- They have no relation to a cardiac abnormality and in children and young adults with thin chest walls.
Different types of heart murmur
- There are often two types of breath:
1.The systolic murmur
- Systolic murmur is perceived when the heart contracts to expel blood to the organs.
- It is, therefore, turbulence associated with the ejection of blood.
- Functional, it results from regular movements linked to its flow: it has no associated pathology.
- If it is organic, it will often be indicative of an attack on the mitral valve, connecting the left ventricle to the left atrium.
2. Diastolic murmur
- Diastolic murmur most frequently corresponds to a narrowing of the aorta.
- The aortic valves close poorly, which induces a backflow of blood towards the left ventricle.
- Before deciding on the diagnosis, the cardiologist will have to carry out additional examinations to ensure the pathology’s content.
What are the causes of a heart murmur?
- To understand the origin of the heart murmur, the doctor will perform a heart ultrasound.
- It will allow him to quantify the extent of the heart valve damage and the consequences on the heart muscle.
- If necessary, the doctor can also order other examinations, such as coronary angiography, which will allow him to visualize the coronary arteries.
- It can be functional (or innocent). That is to say, it does not result from any malformation and does not require special care or special treatment.
- In newborns and children, this heart murmur is prevalent and will most often go away during growth.
- However, it can also persist for life but never cause health problems.
In these cases of a functional heart murmur, the blood may be flowing faster than average.
- Not having enough healthy red blood cells that can carry oxygen to tissues (anemia)
- A phase of rapid growth, as is the case in adolescence
Abnormal Heart Murmur
- The heart murmur may also be abnormal.
- In children, Congenital heart disease causes an abnormal murmur.
- In adults, it is most often a problem with the heart valves.
These include the following causes:
1. Congenital heart disease
- Inter-ventricular communication (VIC), persistent ductus arteriosus, narrowing of the aorta, tetralogy of Fallot, etc.
- An abnormality of the heart valves, such as calcification (hardening or thickening) making it more difficult for blood to pass
- It is an infection of the lining of the heart that can seriously damage the heart valves
What are the consequences of a heart murmur?
- As we have seen, it can have no impact on health.
- It can also indicate a heart disorder, which can cause specific symptoms such as shortness of breath, lack of oxygenation of the blood, etc.
- When the doctor identifies it, he will perform a thorough examination to characterize the cause better.
- And also, he ensures that there are no harmful consequences.
What are the solutions for treating a heart murmur?
- Firstly, the treatment for a heart murmur is influenced by its origin. The doctor can prescribe, among other things.
- Secondly, Medications, anticoagulants, diuretics, or beta-blockers reduce heart rate and blood pressure, a surgical operation.
- Lastly, repair or replace a heart valve, closure of an abnormal opening in the heart in case of heart disease, etc.
Avoid Physical Activities
- Physical activity is not safe for patients suffering from a mild heart murmur.
- The main consequence of valve dysfunction is heart failure or poor oxygenation of the body.
- However, It can lead to syncope during aortic stenosis.
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