Heart Murmur Medical Term Explained

Heart Murmur Medical Term Explained It’s key for both doctors and patients to know about heart murmur terms. The term “heart murmur” means strange sounds during a heartbeat. This might point to blood flow issues in the heart.

Big health groups like the Acibadem Healthcare Group say it’s vital to find and treat heart murmur symptoms. According to the American Heart Association, heart murmurs might not be serious or they could show serious health conditions. Getting the right diagnosis is very important.

This piece aims to make clear what a heart murmur is. We’ll talk about it for regular people and for those in the medical field. And, we’ll use info from trusted medical journals to back it up.

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Understanding Heart Murmurs

Heart murmurs are sounds the heart makes when blood flow is not smooth. A doctor hears them with a stethoscope. They are not like the usual sounds of the heart. Doctors check if a murmur is just a noise or a sign of a heart problem. This check is called diagnosing heart murmurs.

Definition of Heart Murmurs

Heart murmurs are odd sounds during a heartbeat. Some call it a whoosh or a swish. These sounds happen when blood doesn’t flow right in the heart. Doctors look at the timing, how long, and how loud these sounds are. They do this to diagnose murmurs right.

How Heart Murmurs Differ from Normal Heart Sounds

In a healthy heart, sounds are like “lub-dub.” This is the sound of heart valves closing. But with murmurs, the flow is not smooth. This makes swishing or blowing sounds. There are many types of heart murmurs. Some are harmless, and some need treatment.

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It’s important to know the difference between normal and murmur sounds. This helps doctors check if more tests or treatment is needed. This way, they can make the best care decisions.

Types of Heart Murmurs

It’s key to know the types of heart murmurs for the right diagnosis and treatment. They fall into two main groups: innocent and abnormal. This sorting helps doctors find the cause and the best way to treat it.

Innocent Heart Murmurs

Innocent heart murmurs are also called functional or physiological. They don’t hint at any heart troubles and are common in kids and young folks. Usually, they go away as people get older. These kinds of murmurs show up when there’s more blood flow, like during exercise, or in cases of pregnancy, fever, or anemia. Though they’re harmless, your doctor might spot them during check-ups. But, they won’t need specific treatments.

Abnormal Heart Murmurs

Unlike the innocent ones, abnormal heart murmurs might point to real heart issues. They can relate to things like birth defects or heart valve problems. Reasons for these murmurs could be aortic stenosis or mitral valve prolapse. It’s vital to catch and understand them early for the right treatment and care.

Heart Murmur Causes

It’s important to know the causes of heart murmurs for the right treatment. We will look into birth defects, issues with heart valves, and other health problems. These could cause a heart murmur later in life.

Congenital Heart Defects

Certainly, being born with heart problems is a top cause of heart murmurs. The heart may not grow right, causing odd blood movements. A common issue is atrial septal defects, a hole in the heart’s top wall. Not just kids but also adults with this may need medical help.

Valve Abnormalities

Problems with the heart valves are also a big deal. Valves help control blood flow in the heart. Issues like the valve not opening or closing right can make blood move poorly. Special treatments and sometimes surgery are needed to stay healthy.

Other Medical Conditions

In addition to congenital and valve issues, other problems can cause heart murmurs. High blood pressure, low red blood cells, or too much thyroid hormones can make the heart sound strange. Heart infections, like endocarditis, can also lead to a murmur.

Doctors must know all these causes to diagnose and treat people well. They keep learning so they can do better for their patients through research and new info.

Diagnosing Heart Murmurs

Diagnosing heart murmurs starts with a full physical check. This looks into the murmur type and how strong it is.

Physical Examination Techniques

Doctors use a stethoscope to listen to the heart. They focus on any strange noises showing blood flow issues.

  • Positioning and Maneuvering: Patients might need to move around. This helps doctors hear the heart from different angles.
  • Understanding Sound Characteristics: Doctors note unique sound features. These can tell them more about the heart’s condition.

Diagnostic Tests and Procedures

More tests can give deeper insights. These include an echo, ECG, chest x-ray, and cardiac catheterization.

  1. Echocardiogram: Shows how the heart looks and how blood moves inside it.
  2. Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): Checks the heart’s electrical signals to find rhythm issues.
  3. Chest X-Ray: Pictures that show the heart’s size and the blood vessels around it.
  4. Cardiac Catheterization: A detailed look at the heart’s operations, looking for blockages.

Using these tools together helps doctors understand the murmur better. It leads to the right treatment for the patient.

Cardiac Auscultation Techniques

Learning how to listen to the heart is key in cardiology. It helps doctors find heart murmurs. Doing it right lets them spot any problems the heart has.

First, doctors use a stethoscope to listen to the heart. They check the aortic, pulmonic, tricuspid, and mitral areas. Each part sounds different if there’s a murmur.

Key steps in cardiac auscultation techniques:

  1. Place the stethoscope’s diaphragm on the patient’s chest.
  2. Instruct the patient to breathe normally and hold their breath momentarily.
  3. Listen for sounds during different phases of the cardiac cycle (systole and diastole).
  4. Identify any unusual sounds, such as whooshing or swishing, that may indicate a heart murmur.

These steps can show if a heart murmur is present. If a murmur is found, more tests follow. Stethoscopes are still very important tools.

But now, there are digital stethoscopes and more high-tech tools. They help doctors make better first guesses. This can really help the patient.

Comparative analysis of auscultation findings:

Type Sound Characteristics Possible Indications
Systolic Murmur Heard between S1 and S2 heart sounds Mitral valve regurgitation, aortic stenosis
Diastolic Murmur Heard between S2 and the next S1 Aortic regurgitation, mitral stenosis

Being good at listening to the heart is vital. It helps doctors start figuring out what’s wrong. Then, they can plan the right care for the patient.

Symptoms of Heart Murmurs

Having a heart murmur might show some clear signs. It’s important for both kids and grown-ups to know these. Early spotting and quick medical help are really useful.

Signs Indicative of Heart Murmurs

Here are some signs that a heart murmur could be there:

  • Unusual chest pain
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeats
  • Shortness of breath during activity or at rest
  • Chronic fatigue or weakness
  • Blueish tint on the skin, especially the fingertips and lips

Kids with a heart murmur might also show other signs. These include not growing well, getting sick a lot, and having trouble eating.

Symptom Adults Children
Chest Pain Common Less Common
Irregular Heartbeats Common Less Common
Shortness of Breath Very Common Common
Chronic Fatigue Common Specific to Activity
Blueish Skin Rare More Common

When to Seek Medical Attention

Knowing when to get medical help is critical. If you notice heart murmur signs, see a doctor fast. Look out for worse symptoms like ongoing chest pain or heavy shortness of breath.

For parents, catching heart murmur clues in kids is key. If your child isn’t growing well or gets sick often, see a heart doctor soon.

Heart Murmur Medical Term

When we talk about heart murmurs, using the right words is really important. It makes sure that doctors and nurses all understand each other. This means better care for patients because everyone is clear on what’s going on.

Medical Terminology Used in Heart Murmurs

There are many key words when it comes to heart murmurs. Terms like systolic murmur and diastolic murmur show when the murmur happens in the heart’s cycle. And phrases like grading help doctors figure out how serious a murmur is.

Importance of Accurate Medical Terms

Getting the medical words right helps all medical staff work together better. It stops misunderstandings and makes patient care better. Knowing the terms means doctors can diagnose and treat heart murmurs well. This helps make patient care the best it can be.

Treatment for Heart Murmurs

Treating heart murmurs depends on what’s causing them and the patient’s health. Doctors may use medicines or even do surgeries. They make choices after checking up on the person, doing tests to find out more.


Medicines are key in treating heart murmurs, mainly for the heart’s health. Some common meds are beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and anticoagulants. Beta-blockers ease the heart’s job. ACE inhibitors relax blood vessels. Anticoagulants prevent clots in those who might get them. Doctors give exact directions for taking these drugs to be safe and helpful.

Surgical Interventions

Heart Murmur Medical Term Explained For murmurs caused by heart problems, surgery might be needed. Surgeons can fix or replace valves to stop the wrong blood flow. Today, treatments like putting in new valves with small cuts are more used. This makes getting better faster and with fewer problems. Fixing heart problems in kids early on can lead to better health later. After surgery, keeping up with a heart doctor is important for a full recovery.

How doctors treat heart murmurs in adults and kids can be very different. They pick what’s best based on what the person needs. Both medicines and surgery can be part of this. Having a plan customized by specialists is key to dealing with this heart issue the right way.


What is a heart murmur and its medical term?

How are heart murmurs diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose heart murmurs by listening to the heart. They use a special tool called a stethoscope. Echocardiograms and chest X-rays help find the cause too.

What are the types of heart murmurs?

There are two types of heart murmurs: innocent and abnormal. Innocent ones are usually not harmful. They do not mean there is a heart problem. Abnormal murmurs might show a real heart issue, like a problem with the heart valves.

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