Patient discussion about Heart Murmurs

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Q. What is a Heart Murmur?

My friend told me that some people have a heart murmor and it is normal. Is that possible? What is a heart murmur?
A1A heart murmur is a sound that is created by inadequate blood flow through the heart and its large vessels, for example the aorta. Some are born with a heart murmur and further testing doesn't reveal any significant problem. This is called a physiological murmur.
A2Murmurs are abnormal heart sounds that are produced as a result of turbulent blood flow which is sufficient to produce noise. This most commonly results from narrowing or leaking of valves or the presence of abnormal passages through which blood flows in or near the heart. Murmurs are not usually part of the normal cardiac physiology and thus warrant further investigations. However, they sometimes result from harmless flow characteristics of no clinical significance. Murmurs may be dangerous or innocent.

Q. How are Heart Murmurs Classified?

What are the characteristics of different heart murmurs?
A1Heart murmurs are charachterized by their location, their strength, their timing, whether or not they radiate and so on. For example, this is a sound of a heart murmur compatible with a disease called aortic stenosis-
Notice that the murmur begin with the heart sound and lasts all through the beat.
A2Murmurs can be classified by different characteristics: timing, shape, location, radiation, intensity and more. Timing refers to whether the murmur is a systolic or diastolic murmur. Shape refers to the intensity over time. Location refers to where the heart murmur is auscultated best. The general rule of thumb is that the sound radiates in the direction of the blood flow. Intensity refers to the loudness of the murmur, and is graded on a scale from 0-6/6.
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