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Heart Conditions

Heart Murmur

The sounds your doctor hears using a stethoscope while your heart beats are called heart murmurs.

Innocent heart murmurs are sounds made by blood circulating through the heart’s chambers and valves, or through blood vessels near the heart. Innocent murmurs are common in children and are harmless. These heart murmurs may also be referred to as “functional” or “physiologic” murmurs.

A high percentage of children are likely to have had an innocent heart murmur at some time. Innocent murmurs may disappear and then reappear. When a child’s heart rate changes, such as during excitement or fear, these innocent murmurs may become louder or softer. This still doesn’t signal that the innocent murmur is cause for concern.

If your doctor hears a heart murmur when listening to your child’s heart, he or she may recommend additional testing to confirm that the murmur is innocent.

Unless testing suggests that further inquiry is warranted, no next steps may be necessary. With an innocent heart murmur, your child won’t need medication, and doesn't have a heart problem or heart disease. You don't need to pamper or restrict your child’s diet or activities. Your child can be as active as any other normal, healthy child.

Most innocent murmurs disappear when a child reaches adulthood, but some adults still have them.

- American Heart Association

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