Heart Murmur in Children: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

A heart murmur is a ‘whooshing echo’ heard in-between the beats via a stethoscope. It s just an extra sound the blood produces while it flows through the heart.

A murmur is invariably identified during a routine checkup. Normal heart sounds occur when the heart valves shut.

Heart Murmur in Children Causes

  • The commonest cause is congenital (present at birth) heart disease.
  • The heart, the valves, or blood vessels have not developed properly.
  • However, most heart murmurs are harmless and occur when the blood flows through valves in a healthy heart, and thus, do not necessitate treatment. On the other hand, murmurs caused due to blood flow through an over-worked / damaged valve, needs treatment.
  • Valvular defects may be present at birth or may result due to other disorders, like, rheumatic fever, heart attacks, or endocarditis.

Heart Murmur in Children Symptoms

  • By and large there are no presenting features / symptoms.
  • Some children have ‘innocent murmurs’. They are not linked to any congenital heart defects, and resolve by adulthood.

Heart Murmur in Children Treatment

  • The treatment for heart murmurs depends on the cause.
    ‘Innocent heart murmurs’ are not a sign of disease and need no treatment.
  • Mitral valve prolapse needs no management, only regular check-ups by the physician. Conditions like hypertension may cause heart murmurs; your physician will address the fundamental cause. Some valvular diseases may need medication or surgery.
  • If the child has a murmur because of a condition like, hyperthyroidism, anemia or fever, it will resolve once the disorder is treated.

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