If you have a harmless heart murmur, more commonly known as an innocent heart murmur, you likely won't have any other signs or symptoms.
An abnormal heart murmur may cause no obvious other signs, aside from the unusual sound your doctor hears when listening to your heart with a stethoscope. But if you have these signs or symptoms, they may indicate a heart problem:
- Skin that appears blue, especially on your fingertips and lips
- Swelling or sudden weight gain
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Enlarged liver
- Enlarged neck veins
- Poor appetite and failure to grow normally (in infants)
- Heavy sweating with minimal or no exertion
- Chest pain
When to see a doctor
Most heart murmurs aren't serious, but if you think you or your child has a heart murmur, make an appointment to see your family doctor. Your doctor can tell you if your heart murmur is innocent and doesn't require any further treatment or if an underlying heart problem needs to be further examined.
Jun. 08, 2012
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- Heart murmur. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/heartmurmur/printall-index.html. Accessed April 12, 2012.
- Furster V, et al., eds. Hurst's The Heart. 13th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=5. Accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
- Frank JE, et al. Evaluation and management of heart murmurs in children. American Family Physician. 2011;84:793.
- Heart murmurs. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiovascularConditionsofChildhood/Heart-Murmurs_UCM_314208_Article.jsp#.T4evW9Vr7To. Accessed April 13, 2012.
- Cardiovascular examination. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular_disorders/approach_to_the_cardiac_patient/cardiovascular_examination.html. Accessed April 13, 2012.
- Bonno RO, et al. 2008 Focused update incorporated into the ACC/AHA 2006 guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease. Circulation. 2008;118:e523.
- Your guide to living well with heart disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/other/your_guide/yg_livingwell.htm. Accessed April 13, 2012.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 1, 2012.
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