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Heart murmur.

What is a heart murmur?

Heart murmur ... Arthritis in women ... Fainting

A heart murmur is an abnormal sound made by your heart as blood moves through the valves; it can be heard with a stethoscope. The "murmur" is some-rimes described as a "swishing" sound. Many people have heart murmurs that are harmless, but they can be a sign of a problematic heart condition.

Sometimes, murmurs occur because of structural abnormalities in the heart that are congenital (present at birth). You can have a congenital abnormality for years or decades before it is discovered.

Other causes of heart murmurs include: rheumatic fever, a complication of strep throat infection; endocarditis, an infection or inflammation of the inner lining of the heart and valves; age-related thickening or hardening of the heart valves; and mitral valve prolapse--when the valve between the left upper and lower chambers of the heart doesn't close properly.

To determine if a heart murmur is a symptom of a more serious problem, a doctor may order tests, including a chest x-ray, an electrocardiogram, or an echocardiogram. Imaging tests that can help determine the cause of a heart murmur include cardiac CT and MRL Depending on the results of testing, medications may be prescribed, or surgery may be needed to repair or replace a valve or correct other structural abnormalities.

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Publication:Women's Health Advisor
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2011
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