Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What causes a heart murmer?

Believe it or not, heart murmers are harmless most of the time. However, occasionally, they can be caused by a damaged or overworked valve. This is a common problem at birth and may also occur due to diseases or illnesses. Pregnancy, anemia, high blood pressure, and fever are a few factors that may alter the rate of blood flow in the heart, resulting in a heart murmer. These causes usually result in only harmless heart murmers. Septal defects, holes between chambers of the heart, can cause an abnormal heart murmer, or shunts, abnormal amounts of blood flow. It can also be caused by stenosis, when not enough blood can be conveyed by the valves, or regurgitation, when the valves don't completely close or have a leak. Rheumatic fever can affect the heart valves as can endocarditis, a disease that can actually destroy the valves. Valve calcification, build-up in the valves, can cause heart murmers.

Mayo Clinic

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