"Innocent" Heart Murmur

preschool kids

If a murmur is detected, follow-up tests may be recommended. Although some heart murmurs indicate heart valve problems, others are considered harmless. These are “innocent” murmurs.

What are innocent heart murmurs?

Innocent heart murmurs are harmless sounds made by the blood circulating normally through the heart's chambers and valves or through blood vessels near the heart. They can be common during infancy and childhood and often disappear by adulthood. They're sometimes known as "functional" or "physiologic" murmurs.

Some harmless murmurs require additional tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or echocardiogram (echo) to rule out the possibility of a problem.

Are innocent heart murmurs normal?

Innocent murmurs are common in healthy infants, children and adolescents. Innocent murmurs also may disappear and then reappear. Read more about childhood heart murmurs.

Innocent murmurs don’t require medication, don’t create cardiac symptoms and don’t mean there is a heart problem or disease.

Most innocent murmurs disappear when a child reaches adulthood, but some adults still have them. When a child's heart rate changes, such as during exercise, excitement or fear, the innocent murmur may become louder or softer.

Download our printable information sheet: What Are Innocent Heart Murmurs? (PDF)

Video: Heart Murmurs and Valve Problems
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