Innocent Heart Murmurs
When your doctor says that you have a murmur, do not get too alarmed. Murmurs are sounds made by the blood circulating through the heart chambers and valves or through the blood vessels next to your heart. The doctor can detect these murmurs by listening to your heart through a stethoscope. Murmurs may become louder during excitement, fear, stressful situations or during a febrile illness. This still doesn’t mean that the murmur is abnormal. Murmurs are common in children. Most of these murmurs are innocent or benign. Innocent murmurs are harmless. Many of them disappear as the child grows up although they can persist into adulthood. Sometimes, when your doctor listens to a murmur, he or she may request a second opinion. That is when the patient is referred to us but that does not imply that it is an abnormal heart murmur. Pediatric cardiologists should be able to confirm if the murmur is an innocent-type, so don’t worry if you are told that your child has an innocent heart murmur. Children with innocent murmurs do not have a heart problem or heart disease. The child should not be restricted and should be as active as any other normal, healthy child. They do not require antibiotics for dental visits. Children with innocent murmurs do not require any medical treatment, surgery or follow-up by a pediatric cardiologist.