I've been told on two separate occasions in the last 10-12 years that
I have a heart murmur. The most recent was about a month ago. The
doctor told me I have a "silent" murmur (but if it was silent, how come
she could "hear" it?).
What is a "silent" murmur and how is it different from any other
type of heart murmur?
Dear Karen, thank you for your question. I think a better term for "silent"
heart murmurs would be a "benign" murmur. Heart murmurs are caused by turbulent
blood flow through the heart chambers or by leaking cardiac valves that allow
blood to go in the wrong direction (also called regurgitation). Heart murmurs
can also be caused by increased blood flow in the heart when all cardiac structures
are entirely normal. A trained physician can often discriminate between benign
and significant cardiac murmurs with the stethoscope. Even a benign murmur can
be heard by the doctor, so you are correct in saying that it's not a silent murmur.
An echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) can image the cardiac valves and structures
to further investigate a murmur that is heard with a stethescope when the
physician is unsure about the sounds that are heard. Thus,
I suggest that you ask your physician why she thinks it's a benign murmur and
what that means for you. Most likely, you just have increased blood flow through
the heart which would be benign and would not be a cause for worry. I hope you
find this information useful.
Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only. Specific
diagnoses and therapies can only be provided by your physician.
Copyright 1994-2017MedHelp International.All rights reserved. MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.