What is a heart murmur?

A heart murmur is an extra sound heard while listening to the heart. The noise is caused by blood flowing through a normal heart. This is called an “innocent” murmur.

Is this common in children?

Yes. Innocent heart murmurs can be heard in 50-75% of healthy children.

What causes it?

There is not one single reason for the cause of innocent murmurs. It is the sound of normal blood flow in large blood vessels. There may also be extra strands of muscle in the pumping chamber of the heart. There may be many causes of an “innocent” murmur.

Will this murmur go away? If it doesn't, should I be worried?

Innocent murmurs may become louder when you are sick. There may be times when your doctor cannot hear the murmur. If the murmur does not go away, there is no reason for concern. “Innocent" murmurs do not affect how well the heart works.

How can you tell which murmurs are innocent?

Your heart doctor (cardiologist) will take a complete health history and medical exam. The doctor will decide if you need further testing to make the diagnosis. 

Are there any special limits and do I need a follow-up visit?

No. From a heart standpoint, you can do your normal routine. You do not need antibiotics when going to the dentist or having surgery. You will not need to return to the clinic. The heart doctor will give you any further instructions if needed. 

Who to Call

The doctor or nurse or our clinic staff can answer any questions. 

Pediatric Cardiology: (608) 263-6420

Adult Congenital Heart Disease: (608) 890--5700