Diagnosis of a heart murmur is quite common in children.
In most cases heart murmursare not caused by any heart disease, is simply the sound made by the normal flow of blood in the heart of the child.
Young children's hearts beat faster than older children, so they are more likely to produce murmurs. An innocent heart murmur makes no difference to how the heart works, and it usually goes away as the child grows.
An innocent heart murmur can turn louder or softer depending on the child's heart rate, for example, when they are excited or scared. Sometimes they can be heard in children with a fever.
Many of these murmurs are difficult to hear as children grow older, and usually they usually go away on their own.
How is an innocent heart murmur diagnosed?
It is usually diagnosed during a regular exam. Although the murmur usually disappears as the child grows older, sometimes the doctor may choose to refer the child to a pediatric cardiologist to rule out any problems.
Tests may include a chest x-ray, a electrocardiogram and one echocardiogram. These tests allow the specialist to see the structure of the child's heart and how the blood is flowing.
How is an innocent heart murmur treated?
The innocent murmursdo not require treatment. You do not need to take any medications or special care.
Children with an innocent heart murmur do not need long-term follow-up by cardiologist, nor do they require restrictions in sports or other physical activities.
Innocent murmurs generally disappear in adolescence.