Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Flow Murmur
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Flow Murmur

My 7 year old son was diagnosed with a Flow Murmur when he was about 3. I recently enrolled him into Taekwondo. During his classes, they put on chest gear and they take turns hitting or kicking each others chests. He's never complained of any pain around his heart or his chest area, until he started Taekwondo. Could it be that he's getting use to the exercises during his class or is his heart being over worked, due to his flow murmur? Thank you for your time.
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A true "flow" murmur or innocent murmur is a sound made by blood travelling through valves and across blood vessels in a normal heart.  Where there is no underlying heart disease, there should be no true cardiac symptoms or dysfunction.  Chest discomfort in children is not rare, and is usually musculoskeletal in nature. In those cases, the child has discomfort, but is otherwise well (ie: not dizzy, pale, clammy or having nausea or shortness of breath).  Certainly an exertional activity such a TaeKwonDo could do lead to musculoskeletal pain.  Your child's heart, if normal, should not be overly stressed under these circumstances.  If his chest discomfort is troublesome, and he has not been evaluated in 4 years, then it might be worthwhile discussing his current symptoms with your doctor.  If they feel a re-evaluation by a cardiologist is indicated, based on previous data obtained, then please follow their advice.
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Marie M Gleason, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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