Pediatric Cardiologist located in Old Bridge, NJ
Heart murmurs, or extra heart sounds, are most often benign and not associated with a serious heart condition. However, in some cases, they may signify a heart problem, so it's best to be sure by visiting expert pediatric cardiologist Laura Boulos, DO, at iHeart Pediatrics in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Dr. Boulos has considerable experience in detecting and diagnosing heart murmurs. If you’ve been told your child has a heart murmur, call iHeart Pediatrics or book an appointment online today.
Heart Murmurs Q & A
What are heart murmurs?
Heart murmurs are extra sounds your child's heart makes that can be heard through a stethoscope.
In general, most heart murmurs in children are benign or innocent and simply reflect rapid or turbulent blood flow through the heart. Often benign heart murmurs are associated with:
- Physical activity
- Illness or fever
- Thyroid hormone imbalance
- Periods of rapid growth
Heart murmurs may be present shortly after your child's birth or become apparent later in their life. They often come and go throughout childhood.
Can heart murmurs be a sign of cardiac disease?
While most heart murmurs aren't a cause for concern, some are pathologic or abnormal and could be a sign of cardiac disease.
Pathologic heart murmurs are rare, occurring in less than 1% of the population. They may be due to abnormal connections between the left and right chambers of the heart or the major blood vessels of your child's heart. A leaky or thickened heart valve might also affect the way blood flows through their heart.
How are heart murmurs diagnosed and treated?
At iHeart Pediatrics, Dr. Boulos assesses all pediatric heart murmurs to determine what's causing them and whether your child needs treatment. She might need to perform an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) to see the internal workings of your child's heart before making a diagnosis.
Innocent heart murmurs are common and not associated with heart disease. Therefore, they don't require treatment or long-term follow-up.
If your child has a pathologic heart murmur, Dr. Boulos recommends the most appropriate treatment depending on the cause and severity of the condition.
To find out more about your child's heart murmur, call iHeart Pediatrics or book an appointment online today.