Murmurs are noises created by the blood as it flows through the heart. There are two basic types of murmurs; functional(innocent) and organic. Organic murmurs are abnormal noises made by the blood travelling through holes, narrowed passages or narrowed valves.
Functional murmurs are also known as innocent or flow murmurs. They are frequently heard in early childhood especially during times of rapid growth. They are more easily heard in children because of the thin chest wall.(The heart is much closer to the stethescope).
They can come and go and therefore, may not be heard by your pediatrician at every examination. Functional murmurs are louder or easier to hear when your child has a fever because the heart is working harder. Functional murmurs are noises created by the blood flowing through a normal, healthy heart.
HOW IS A MURMUR EVALUATED ?
When a murmur is heard by the pediatrician, the child may be sent to a Pediatric Cardiologist for evaluation. The Pediatric Cardiologist is specially trained to distinguish functional or innocent murmurs from organic murmurs.
THE EVALUATION CONSISTS OF:
Listening to the child's heart with a stethoscope toassess heart sounds.
An electrocardiogram (EKG) to check the rhythm of the heart and determine whether any parts of the heart are working harder than they should.
Chest x-ray (occasionally) to evaluation heart size and lungs.
An echocardiogram (non invasive sound wave picture of the working heart) is often performed to make certain all of the parts ofthe heart are there and working.
Oximetry (a non invasive measurement of the oxygen level in the blood) is sometimes performed.
The life span of the child is NOT affected in any way.
You have a child with a normal, healthy heart who may participate in all activities.