|Heartbeat: Anatomy of the Heart|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Structural abnormalities of the heart valves (most common)—these may be congenital (present from birth) or acquired later in life. Examples include:
- Abnormal holes or connections in the structure of the heart or vessels persisting after birth:
- Structural abnormality of the heart muscle:
- Other congenital heart conditions, such as:
- Endocarditis —infection of the inner lining of heart valves and chambers (endocardium)
- Rheumatic fever—inflammation and damage of the heart valves from poorly treated strep throat
- Cardiac myxoma—a benign soft tumor within the heart (rare)
- Age: 3-7 years old
- Rheumatic fever
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune disease
- Congenital heart defects or disease
- Rapid breathing or trouble breathing
- Blue lips (cyanosis)
- Chest pain
- Palpitations (feeling of rapid or irregular heartbeat)
- Exercise intolerance
- Failure-to-thrive in children
When Should I Call My Doctor?
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)—This does not diagnose the cause of the murmur but can provide other useful information about the condition of the heart.
- Chest x-ray —to determine the approximate size and shape of the heart, and the presence of associated lung swelling (pulmonary edema).
- Echocardiogram —to examine the size, shape, and motion of the heart.
- Cardiac catheterization —to detect problems with the heart's structure, function, and blood supply.
- Blood tests—To check for evidence of a recurrent heart attack or other diseases that may affect the heart (such as kidney disease, infections, autoimmune conditions).
- Diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, digitalis—to treat heart failure
- Antibiotics—to prevent or treat endocarditis
- Replacement of defective heart valves with artificial ones
- Correction of congenital heart defects
- Removal of heart tumors
- Get prompt testing and treatment for strep throat to prevent rheumatic fever.
- Reduce your risk of atherosclerosis to help prevent valvular heart disease in the distant future. To do this:
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
Heart Information Network http://www.healthcentral.com
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Canadian Family Physician http://www.cfpc.ca
American Dental Association. Antibiotic prophylaxis. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/2157.aspx . Accessed August 30, 2010.
American Heart Association. New guidelines regarding antibiotics to prevent infective endocarditis. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/ . Accessed August 30, 2010.
Berkow R. The Merck Manual of Medical Information . New York, NY: Pocket; 2000.
Heart murmur in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated October 17, 2011. Accessed February 9, 2012.
Heart murmurs. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiovascularConditionsofChildhood/Heart-Murmurs%5FUCM%5F314208%5FArticle.jsp . Accessed July 6, 2009.
Heart murmurs. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-murmurs/DS00727 . Updated April 9, 2010. Accessed February 9, 2012.
Heart murmurs and your child. KidsHealth website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/heart/murmurs.html . Updated August 2010. Accessed February 9, 2012.
Medical dictionary: heart disease and stroke. Harvard Medical School Consumer Health Information website. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/dictionary/heart-disease-stroke.htm . Accessed July 6, 2009.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -