Heart murmurs are sounds during your heartbeat cycle — such as whooshing or swishing — made by turbulent blood in or near your heart. These sounds can be heard with a stethoscope. A normal heartbeat makes two sounds like "lubb-dupp" (sometimes described as "lub-DUP"), which are the sounds of your heart valves closing.
Heart murmurs can be present at birth (congenital) or develop later in life. A heart murmur isn't a disease — but murmurs may indicate an underlying heart problem.
Often, heart murmurs are harmless (innocent) and don't need treatment. Some heart murmurs may require follow-up tests to be sure the murmur isn't caused by a serious underlying heart condition. Treatment, if needed, is directed at the cause of your heart murmur.
April 03, 2015
- What is a heart murmur? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/heartmurmur. Accessed Feb. 24, 2015.
- Marx JA, et al. Cardiac disorders. In: Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
- Chatterjee K. Auscultation of cardiac murmurs. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
- Gladman G. Management of asymptomatic heart murmurs. Paediatrics and Child Health. 2012;23:64.
- Heart murmurs. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiovascularConditionsofChildhood/Heart-Murmurs_UCM_314208_Article.jsp#.T4evW9Vr7To. Accessed Feb. 24, 2015.
- Naik RJ, et al. Teenage heart murmurs. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2014;61:1.
- Hiremath G, et al. When to call the cardiologist: Treatment approaches to neonatal heart murmur. Pediatric Annals. 2013;42:329.
- Nishimura RA, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2014;63:e57.
- Your guide to living well with heart disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/living-with-heart-disease-html. Accessed Feb. 27, 2015.
- Medications for heart valve symptoms. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Medications-for-Heart-Valve-Symptoms_UCM_450684_Article.jsp. Accessed Feb. 27, 2015.
- Options for heart valve repair. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Options-for-Heart-Valve-Repair_UCM_450811_Article.jsp. Accessed Feb. 27, 2015.
- Options for heart valve replacement. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Options-for-Heart-Valve-Replacement_UCM_450816_Article.jsp. Accessed Feb. 27, 2015.
- Options and considerations for heart valve surgery. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Options-and-Considerations-for-Heart-Valve-Surgery_UCM_450787_Article.jsp. Accessed March 1, 2015.
- What is TAVR? American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/What-is-TAVR_UCM_450827_Article.jsp. Accessed March 1, 2015.
- Infective endocarditis. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/TheImpactofCongenitalHeartDefects/Infective-Endocarditis_UCM_307108_Article.jsp. Accessed March 1, 2015.
- Mankad R (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 3, 2015.