Overview of common causes of cardiac murmurs in infants and children
- Robert L Geggel, MD
Robert L Geggel, MD
- Associate Professor of Pediatrics
- Harvard Medical School
Heart murmurs are common in infants and children. Evaluation of a murmur is the most common reason for referral to a pediatric cardiologist [1,2]. While the reported prevalence of congenital heart disease is approximately one percent, a majority of children have innocent murmurs at some time [3,4]. Being able to distinguish a murmur associated with heart disease from a benign etiology is important for diagnosis and management (table 1).
Common causes of heart murmurs in infants and children will be reviewed here. The approach to evaluating cardiac murmurs, identifying newborns with critical heart disease, and evaluating children with suspected heart disease are discussed separately:
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- COMMON CAUSES OF MURMURS
- Neonates and infants
- - Patent ductus arteriosus
- - Tricuspid regurgitation
- - Ventricular septal defects
- - Peripheral pulmonary stenosis
- - Pulmonary stenosis
- - Aortic stenosis
- - Coarctation of the aorta
- - Other congenital heart lesions
- Children >1 year
- - Innocent Still's murmur
- - Cervical venous hum
- - Atrial septal defect
- - Mitral regurgitation
- - Bicuspid aortic valve
- - Pericarditis
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS