J Korean Med Assoc.  2020 Jul;63(7):398-403. 10.5124/jkma.2020.63.7.398.

Evaluation and diagnostic approach for heart murmurs in children

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea

Abstract

Heart murmurs are common in children. Most of them are innocent murmurs with normal heart anatomy and function, and only a few are pathologic murmurs with congenital heart anomaly or abnormal heart function. However, a heart murmur may be the sole symptom of serious heart disease. Therefore, careful evaluation of heart murmurs for distinguishing pathologic murmurs from innocent murmurs is important. Heart murmurs are described by their intensity, timing in the cardiac cycle, location, transmission, and quality. Murmurs, such as a holosystolic or diastolic murmur, of grade 3 or higher intensity, harsh quality, an abnormal S2, a systolic click, or increased intensity when the patient stands are more likely to be pathologic murmurs. Innocent murmurs are more likely to be systolic murmurs, with soft sounds, short duration, low pitch, and varying intensity with phases of respiration and posture (disappears with standing). Not only auscultation but also physical examination findings are important to evaluate heart murmurs. The gold standard test for the evaluation of any potentially pathologic murmur is echocardiography. For the appropriate use of echocardiography, close physical examination, including auscultation, is essential and requires considerable practice.

Keyword

Heart murmurs; Congenital heart defects; Child; 심잡음; 선천성 심기형; 소아
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