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British Heart Foundation
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Heart murmur???

Hey I recently had my 2 year old for a check up with her pediatrician, he asked about the cardiology referral he made for her I said that her appointment is in August, he wasn't impressed how long it was taking( but I wasn't worried both of my other children have seen them as they have innocent heart murmurs and they just confirmed that and never needed to see them again) so I asked why he referred her and he said she has a serious heart murmur, that this one isn't innocent, now we have to wait to August for answers and I have no idea what to expect. :-(

He did give me a little bit of information but all he said is it was the artery going to the lungs :-( can any one tell me what to expect from this appointment

3 Replies

Poor you. I can imagine your really stressed you I right now. I would say take what the paediatrician said with a pinch of salt. While a murmur depending on its sound can be indicative of a problem, it is actually quite difficult to make an accurate diagnosis based on the sound. I would be surprised if a cardiologist even gave you I diagnosis on that basis rather than say "I believe this particular murmur warrants further investigation.'

What you can expect to happen as a minimum will be that her height and weight be taken (these being low can indicate a problem) and the cardiologist will also have a listen to her chest. If he believes that the murmur is not innocent he will ensure further tests are pursued.

My paediatric appointments took the format below but in this case we already knew I had a problem after arresting in theatre (was having a life threatening GI obstruction repaired) on my first day of life.

1) ECG- this was a a basic trace of the hearts electrical activity. It can sometimes identify structural problems by various intervals falling outside normal range.

2)Echocardiogram- this is ultrasound scans you had in pregnancy but of the heart. It checks all the major structures each pumping chamber, the efficiency of each valve and is sometimes used to check the size and function of the major vessels leaving the heart.

3) I would then see the cardiologist who would listen to my chest to grade my murmur, check for signs of fluid in either my legs or lungs and ask a ton load of really annoying questions. Like "Do you display any signs of breathlessness?" "Does she turn blue on exertion?" "How is her academic progress compared to her peers?" "Does she continue to play sport?"

Further details of the tests can be found at the link below. But I will say this is written for adults (not all of the tests are suitable to a 2year old or the procedure maybe altered such as use a General Anaesthetic for an MRI scan). I suspect at the most only the tests I have listed above will happen at your clinic appointment and these are as described below:


Good luck with it. It maybe the murmur is innocent still. However, if it is not I suggest you ask to speak to/ have an appointment with the clinical nurse specialist, they are far better at explaining these conditions in plain accessible English than the Doctors.

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Hi there - so sorry to hear that you're worried about your little girl and her heart murmur. You're right in saying a lot of them turn out to be quite innocent, but it's always best to follow up. Most often we need to do an echocardiogram (https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/tests/echocardiogram) to see what the structure of the heart is like, and without that it's actually quite tough to diagnose anything just from a murmur.

A GP/paediatrician can book an echocardiogram, so to save time maybe have a chat with them about getting that booked in ahead of seeing a specialist.

It's always best to go armed with your questions, as the appointments can be quite short sometimes and people often forget once they're in the room. In the meantime, make sure you report anything back that changes as sometimes this means they might need to bring the appointment forwards.

I hope everything turns out well and that you get all the support you need.

Take care, Chris

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Thanks youse I actually feel much better my heart was in my mouth when he said it. Well fingers crossed it's still innocent.

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