What causes non-innocent heart murmurs in children?

Mark Sklansky, MD
Pediatric Cardiology
Some pathologic (non-innocent) heart murmurs present soon after birth, while others may not present until later in life. The most common heart conditions causing murmurs in infants include ventricular septal defects (VSDs), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), aortic/pulmonary valve stenosis/thickening or mitral/tricuspid regurgitation (MR/TR). Children with normal hearts can develop benign murmurs just in the presence of infection (increased heart rate), but children rarely develop infections of the heart that can cause pathologic murmurs. When in doubt, it’s best to evaluate closely; referral to a pediatric cardiologist may be prudent.

Mohamed Djelmami Hani, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

A "noninnocent" heart murmur can be caused by an abnormal structure in the heart or in the heart's blood vessels or valves. Examples of these would be a "hole in the heart," a leaking heart valve, or a heart valve that is smaller than normal.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.