|Heartbeat: Anatomy of the Heart|
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- Structural abnormalities of the heart valves (most common)—these may be congenital (present from birth). The structural abnormalities may also be acquired later in life. Examples include:
- Abnormal holes or connections in the structure of the heart or vessels persisting after birth:
- Structural abnormality of the heart muscle:
- Other congenital heart conditions, such as:
- Endocarditis—infection of the inner lining of heart valves and chambers (endocardium)
- Cardiac myxoma—a benign soft tumor within the heart (rare)
- Age: 3-7 years old
- Rheumatic fever
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune disease
- Congenital heart defects or disease
- Rapid breathing or trouble breathing
- Blue lips (cyanosis)
- Chest pain
- Palpitations (feeling of rapid or irregular heartbeat)
- Exercise intolerance
- Failure-to-thrive in children
When Should I Call My Doctor?
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)—A test that records the heart's electrical activity using electrodes attached to the surface of the chest. This does not diagnose the cause of the murmur but can provide other useful information about the condition of the heart.
- Chest x-ray—An x-ray to determine the approximate size and shape of the heart, and the presence of associated lung swelling (pulmonary edema).
- Echocardiogram—A test that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to examine the size, shape, and motion of the heart.
- Cardiac catheterization—A tube inserted into the heart through an artery (usually in the groin) to detect problems with the heart's structure, function, and blood supply.
- Blood tests—To check for evidence of a recurrent heart attack or other diseases that may affect the heart (such as kidney disease, infections, autoimmune conditions).
- Diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, digitalis—to treat heart failure
- Antibiotics—to prevent or treat endocarditis
- Replacement of defective heart valves with artificial ones
- Correction of congenital heart defects
- Removal of heart tumors
- Get prompt testing and treatment for strep throat to prevent rheumatic fever.
- Reduce your risk of atherosclerosis to help prevent valvular heart disease in the distant future. To do this:
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
Heart Information Network http://www.healthcentral.com
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Canadian Family Physician http://www.cfpc.ca
American Dental Association. Antibiotic prophylaxis. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/2157.aspx. Accessed August 30, 2010.
American Heart Association. New guidelines regarding antibiotics to prevent infective endocarditis. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/. Accessed August 30, 2010.
Berkow R. The Merck Manual of Medical Information . New York, NY: Pocket; 2000.
Heart murmur in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated October 17, 2011. Accessed February 9, 2012.
Heart murmurs. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiovascularConditionsofChildhood/Heart-Murmurs%5FUCM%5F314208%5FArticle.jsp. Accessed July 6, 2009.
Heart murmurs. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-murmurs/DS00727. Updated April 9, 2010. Accessed February 9, 2012.
Heart murmurs and your child. KidsHealth website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/heart/murmurs.html. Updated August 2010. Accessed February 9, 2012.
Medical dictionary: heart disease and stroke. Harvard Medical School Consumer Health Information website. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/dictionary/heart-disease-stroke.htm . Accessed July 6, 2009.
- Reviewer: n/a
- Review Date: 06/2012 -
- Update Date: 02/14/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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