Are you suffering from a heart murmur and looking for a cardiologist in Barcelona?
A heart murmur is usually perceived by the general practitioner or cardiologist during an auscultation with a stethoscope. Although impressive, it is not always indicative of heart disease. To ensure that it is not the result of physiological problems, further tests should be carried out.
Make an appointment now with one of our cardiologists to monitor your heart murmur.
What is a heart murmur?
A heart murmur is a term used to describe "unusual" noises heard during auscultation with a stethoscope while the heart is beating.
These noises are usually produced by turbulence in the blood flow to the heart and can be caused by a variety of conditions. Note that a heart can also make noises without having any malformations.
Heart murmurs can be present from birth, or develop later in life. They can affect children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.
The different types of heart murmurs
There are two types of heart murmurs:
- The systolic murmur: this is a noise that occurs during the contraction of the heart, also called systole.
- The diastolic murmur: it is present when blood flows back during diastole, which corresponds to the filling of the heart.
Heart murmur: symptoms
A heart murmur usually has no symptoms but is discovered during a medical examination with a stethoscope.
What causes a heart murmur?
A distinction must be made between a functional (or innocent) heart murmur and an abnormal heart murmur.
In the case of a functional heart murmur, it is possible that the blood flows faster than normal, especially in the case of
- Rapid growth phase (e.g. adolescence)
Abnormal heart murmurs are most often related to a narrowing or insufficiency of one or more valves in the heart.
The most common causes are
- Congenital heart disease (ventricular septal defect (VSD), patent ductus arteriosus, narrowing of the aorta, tetralogy of Fallot, etc)
- An anomaly of the heart valves
- Rheumatic fever
What are the consequences of a heart murmur?
A heart murmur can have no health consequences, but it can also be a sign of a heart disorder. It is important to detect these disorders at an early stage in order to have regular follow-up and appropriate treatment if necessary.
In the event of a heart murmur, the cardiologist will therefore carry out a thorough examination using a cardiac Doppler ultrasound to better characterise the cause and ensure that there are no harmful consequences.
What are the treatments for heart murmurs?
The treatment of a heart murmur depends on its origin. If it is a functional (or innocent) heart murmur, no particular treatment is required.
However, if the heart murmur is a sign of heart disease, it may be necessary to treat the underlying disease.
Depending on the condition, treatments may include the following:
- Medication (anticoagulants, diuretics, or beta-blockers) to lower the heart rate and blood pressure
- Surgery to repair or replace a heart valve
- Regular monitoring