Heart murmurs in children – Symptoms and Treatments

Heart murmurs in childrenHeart murmurs in children

Heart murmurs in children

Heart murmur conditions in children are very common. Half of all children may develop a heart murmur before reaching the age of 18. However, A heart murmur in your child can also indicate a cardiac problem. Such a condition requires prompt medical attention as early diagnosis and treatment of cognitional heart disease aids in keeping a child lifelong healthy. So, it is essential to notice heart murmur symptoms and warning signs in kids and take additional steps to provide the best possible early treatment. 

What exactly are pediatric heart murmurs?

Extra or abnormal noises generated by turbulent blood passing through the heart are called cardiac murmurs. Murmurs are rated on a scale of 1 to 6 based on their loudness. One indicates a very faint murmur. Whereas six means an extremely loud murmur.

A Murmurs can be classified as follows:

  • Systolic murmur – When the heart contracts, it produces a cardiac murmur.
  • Diastolic murmur – When the heart relaxes, it creates a cardiac murmur.
  • Continuous murmur – A cardiac murmur that happens all the time. the speed of the heartbeat

What are the possible causes of Children’s heart murmurs?

Normal, healthy children may have heart murmurs. These are known as harmless murmurs. A kid may be born with a cardiac defect that causes a murmur in some situations. These are referred to as pathogenic. Murmurs can also be caused by:

  • InfectionFever
  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
  • Heart valve disease

Is pediatric heart murmur life-threatening?

Pathologic murmurs, while not normal, are not always life-threatening. They are most commonly heard when a child has a minor cardiac problem. However, suppose a kid has a heart murmur and experiences symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty eating or gaining weight, sweating while eating, or cyanosis (a blue tinge to the lips and skin). In that case, it may be a more serious issue that requires immediate medical treatment.

To confirm any heart abnormalities, your child’s pediatric cardiologist may do some tests to detect any heart abnormality or issue in the child.

Pathologic heart murmurs may be linked to several conditions.

Certain syndromes or genetic diseases may be linked to cardiac abnormalities such as heart murmurs. These are some examples:

  • Down syndrome – A cardiac evaluation should be performed on all children with Down syndrome. Many of these people might have a minor or complicated cardiac problem.
  • Patent ductus arteriosus – This disorder can occur in premature newborns. It happens when a blood artery (ductus arteriosus) fails to close properly. Blood circulates improperly between the two main arteries near the heart due to this condition. It is frequently discovered immediately after delivery and can be confirmed by echocardiography.
  • Heart muscle diseases (cardiomyopathy) – The condition occurs when the heart muscle becomes too thick or weak to pump blood effectively.
  • Rheumatic fever – This occurs if a kid does not receive efficient treatment for a strep throat infection. The infection can damage heart valves and disrupt healthy blood flow through the heart.

What are the indications of heart murmur in children?

Most heart murmurs are safe and will not cause any other symptoms. If your child has the following symptoms in addition to a heart murmur, he/she may have a heart problem:

  • Blue skin, especially the fingers and lips
  • Swelling
  • Breathing difficulties
  • chronic cough
  • Chest pain
  • Enlarged veins in the neck
  • Poor appetite and growth failure
  • Dizziness and fainting

How are Heart Murmurs in Children Diagnosed?

A pediatric doctor may discuss Your kid’s symptoms and medical history. And the doctor may perform a physical exam. The provider will use a stethoscope to listen to your child’s heart during an exam. If the doctor notices an unusual sound, he or she may recommend you to a pediatric cardiologist, a specialist who specializes in treating children with heart abnormalities. The following tests may be used to confirm the heart murmur diagnosis:

  • Chest X-ray – Images of the heart and lungs are generated.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) –  The heart’s electrical activity is measured in this examination.
  • Echocardiography (echo) – An exam that uses sound waves (ultrasound) to examine the structure and function of the heart. This is one of the most crucial tests for detecting heart murmurs in children.

What are possible effective treatments for Heart Murmurs?

Remember that a murmur is not an illness and does not indicate that your kid needs heart surgery.

  • The majority of children with murmurs have normal, healthy hearts. If a congenital cardiac defect causes the murmur, treatment will be decided by your child’s symptoms, age, and overall health.
  • It will also depend on the severity of the problem and may include medication, procedures, or surgery.
  • If another condition causes the murmur, the heart murmur will normally decrease or disappear if the actual illness is managed or treated.

Is it possible to prevent a heart murmur in infants?

Although there isn’t much that can be done to avoid heart murmurs in children, there are certain things you can do during pregnancy to reduce your baby’s chances of acquiring one:

  • Throughout pregnancy, controlling any medical condition, such as diabetes, is critical for lowering your baby’s risk of having cardiac issues. Women who have rubella or PKU are also more likely to have a kid with a heart abnormality.
  • Avoiding some medicines, illegal drugs, and alcohol reduces the risk of newborns developing cardiac murmurs.

The conclusion – Typically, a kid with an innocent murmur will show no further symptoms because there is no underlying illness or cardiac defect. Innocent murmurs are sometimes called functional murmurs since they are caused by normal heart function and not a cardiac disease. They rarely create extra health problems. Medicine can help the heart pump better, prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and eliminate extra fluid that builds up when the heart isn’t working properly. In other instances, surgery is required to repair a heart hole, a valve, or other structural problems. If your child has a frequent and loud heart murmur, consult a pediatrician in Gurgaon as primary care.

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