A heart murmur is a sound created by the flow of blood in the heart, heard when listening to the heart with a stethoscope. Some heart murmurs, called innocent murmurs, occur in completely healthy people. Heart murmurs also can result when the valves of the heart are diseased, creating abnormal blood flow through the valve. People with congenital heart problems (birth defects) or congestive heart failure frequently have heart murmurs.
A heart murmur can be a clue to the presence of heart disease. Innocent murmurs don’t need further testing, but unexplained heart murmurs often prompt other tests, like electrocardiogram (ECG) or a heart ultrasound (echocardiogram).
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