Dr. Nicholas Pegge : Cardiologist


Strictly speaking, of course, a murmur is a sign found by a doctor, rather than a symptom experienced by a patient.

Having a murmur just means that when the doctor listens with a stethoscope to the patient's heart, the doctor can hear a noise from turbulent flow of blood in the heart or one of the great blood vessels connected to the heart in the middle of the chest.

Murmurs are very common: especially in healthy children, about 1 in 5 of whom may have an audible murmur at some point.

In adults, murmurs are less common, and more often indicate an underlying problem with a heart valve: perhaps a thickened valve which consequently does not open properly; or floppy valve which allows blood flow in the heart to leak backwards.

After the patient is seen and has a physical examination, an echocardiogram is the investigation of choice to see if the murmur is inconsequential - a flow murmur - or significant, from underlying valve disease.

Most adults with heart valve problems need little specific treatment, but may need to be monitored periodically. Some patients require eventual treatment; the effects of a leaky valve may require drug treatment, but sometimes the best option, particularly with a narrowed or stenosed valve, is a procedure to replace or repair the valve.










All information on this website has been written by
Dr Nicholas Pegge MA (Cantab.) MB BS (London) FRCP