|Heartbeat: Anatomy of the Heart|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Structural abnormalities of the heart valves (most common)—these may be congenital (present from birth) or acquired later in life. Examples include:
- Abnormal holes or connections in the structure of the heart or vessels persisting after birth:
- Structural abnormality of the heart muscle:
- Other congenital heart conditions, such as:
- Endocarditis —infection of the inner lining of heart valves and chambers (endocardium)
- Rheumatic fever—inflammation and damage of the heart valves from poorly treated strep throat
- Cardiac myxoma—a benign soft tumor within the heart (rare)
- Rheumatic fever
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune disease
- Congenital heart defects or disease
- Rapid breathing or trouble breathing
- Blue lips (cyanosis)
- Lightheadedness and/or fainting
- Chest pain
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Exercise intolerance
- Inability to gain weight in children
- Abdominal swelling
- Enlarged neck veins
When Should I Call My Doctor?
- Chest x-ray
- Cardiac catheterization
- Echocardiogram —to examine the size, shape, and motion of the heart.
- Diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, digitalis—to treat heart failure
- Antibiotics—to prevent or treat endocarditis
- Replacement of defective heart valves with artificial ones
- Correction of congenital heart defects
- Removal of heart tumors
- Get prompt testing and treatment for strep throat to prevent rheumatic fever.
- Reduce your risk of atherosclerosis to help prevent valvular heart disease in the distant future. To do this:
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
CardioSource—American College of Cardiology http://www.cardiosource.org
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Antibiotic prophylaxis. American Dental Association website. Available at: http://www.ada.org/2157.aspx. Accessed September 22, 2015.
Heart murmurs. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiovascularConditionsofChildhood/Heart-Murmurs%5FUCM%5F314208%5FArticle.jsp.Updated February 3, 2015. Accessed September 22, 2015.
Heart murmurs and your child. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/heart/murmurs.html. Updated May 2013. Accessed September 22, 2015.
Heart murmur in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 14, 2012. Accessed September 22, 2015.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2015 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -