Heart murmur in children: symptoms and treatment

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Heart murmur in children: symptoms and treatment

Parents' worries can be many, and it is normal: you must always pay attention to the health of your children and do not underestimate any alarm bells. Today we talk about the heart murmur children, how to notice and if you need to intervene. 





In this article

  • What is heart murmur?
  • Innocent breath and pathological breath
  • Symptoms of a heart murmur
  • Heart murmur diagnosis
  • How a heart murmur is treated

What is heart murmur?

The word itself says it: the heart murmur it is just a sound like a breath that can only be heard listening to the heart of a child or an adult. We therefore need a phonendoscopy in order to hear it, it is not something audible to the naked ear. Many Infants they are born with a heart murmur, only to lose it during growth: the doctor's task is to verify if it is therefore a temporary thing or a real pathology. 



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Innocent breath and pathological breath

The main distinction therefore concerns the nature of the heart murmur, Which can be innocent, Then physiological, or pathological and indicate a heart disease. Doctors know very well how to recognize each other, especially since the physiological one is usually systolic (due to the contraction of the heart muscle), it has an almost musical sound, it is rather weak and is perceived in every point of breathing. 



Il pathological murmur, also called organic, it concerns a malfunction of the heart or one of its anomalies, usually present already at birth. For diagnose a pathological heart murmur auscultation is not enough, but an echocardiogram is necessary. Many children undergo an electrocardiogram at the request of the pediatrician before starting sports or in any case in the first years of primary school, even in the absence of suspicion, to verify that everything is in order, and only if the cardiologist deems it appropriate will switch to the echocardiogram. 

Read also: Heart surgery for my little girl, but I have a lot of confidence

Symptoms of a heart murmur

Il functional heart murmur, or physiological, does not give details symptoms. In fact, it is often the pediatrician who becomes aware of his presence listening newborns, since most of them are born with the breath, while the parents do not notice anything (and not even the child!). 

If, on the other hand, the breath is pathological, as well as being usually noticeable via auscultation, the baby may have some symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pains, excessive sweating, dizziness and altered coloring, turning blue, of the lips, skin and fingers. 

Heart murmur diagnosis

diagnose heart murmur, as we said, it is necessary to deepen with cardiological examinations. If it is a physiological murmur, the use of the is generally sufficient stethoscope by the pediatrician, but if he has doubts or realizes that something is wrong, he can order further investigations, which will be done by cardiologist. The most suitable exam is l'ecocardiogramma, even if a simple one is often enough electrocardiogram to understand if the murmur is pathological or not. 

If the pediatrician he sends you to the cardiologist do not be scared: it is often better to have an extra scruple than to underestimate. 

It is also important to evaluate the child as a whole, especially if he is familiar with congenital heart disease. 

How a heart murmur is treated

If your child has the blow but it is one physiologic mattera, you don't have to do anything: in most cases it resolves itself or, even if it doesn't, it won't cause problems. If, on the other hand, it is a pathological murmur, if you proceed with a specific treatment which obviously varies according to the pathology found. Only in very rare cases the (pathological) murmur requires surgery.

If the pediatrician found the heart murmur in your child, know that it is a characteristic that affects more than half of children and babies, most of the time physiological, which has no impact on life and growth. Pediatricians are also trained to recognize a pathological murmur and direct you to more targeted investigations with the cardiologist, who could confirm or rule out the presence of the organic murmur.

SOURCES

Cardiac auscultation

Evaluation and Management of Heart Murmurs in Children

TAG:
  • cardiovascular diseases
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