Systolic Ejection Murmur

Hi All,

So my partner had his initial consultation with the cardiologist after 3 months of waiting :(, and he advised him they will do three tests Stress test, Echo, 48 Hour ECG. He said they would all be done within the next three months and he got his follow up appointment for 20th December :( So long.

We got a copy of the report he sent to the GP and saw Systolic Ejection Murmur Heard on auscultation. Now the concern we have is that the cardiologist did not mention he heard a murmur during the consultation and naturally we both went on a google frenzie of this and started freaking ourselves out that it could be endocarditis or a leaky valve as this murmur was not picked up a few years ago by top consultant and extensive testing leading us to believe is new and recent.

We know this is not something he was born with as he was seen by one of the best cardiologists 6 years ago and underwent every test you could possibly do who gave the diagnoses of WAP, and said it was a harmless arrhythmia. What led us to get re referred was the reoccurring pericarditis and more palpitations and ectopic beats.

Has anyone had a experience with a newly diagnosed murmur? Our worry is we have a holiday booked to Costa Rica in November and that's before he will even see the cardiologist and we worry traveling this far and being in the remote resort by a jungle means no emergency services near by.

Of course before we indeed knew about the murmur we were not too concerned about traveling, and suspected his tests would all come back fine as he has had pericarditis a few times and has a wandering atrial heartbeat.

We are on the verge of paying to have a private Echocardiogram, as the wait lists are too long and its driving us insane with the unknown.

My partner is 26 and has been diagnosed with high cholesterol, however it was not sky high and he has changed his diet and if it remains high he will go on statins but naturally he wants to avoid them if he can.

9 Replies

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  • Firstly addressing the holiday in Costa Rica- I would check the terms and conditions of your travel insurance very carefully. If you are waiting for hospital test/ investigations for an undiagnosed condition or that are not routine part of care for a known condition, this very often invalidates any travel insurance. So yeah check the T&C's. The only way to revalidate it would be to have a private echo and consultation to get a diagnosis and declare this to the insurance company.

    As regards to the murmur itself a disproportionate number turn out to have no systemic cause. Do not worry yourself about endocarditis- it is a horrible condition but you would know with out a doubt whether your husband had it. It develops fairly rapidly and you say you have been waiting 3 months already. As for a leaky valve- this possible but if a valve was leaking severely again it is likely you would know about it. Your husband would be more tired than normal and have some compromise (if not enormous- mine was minimal but noticable) to his ability to carry out daily tasks. The murmur may not even be new. I know you said you saw a top cardiologist- well if you had all the tests and no systemic problem found it may well be they just did not report the murmur as it was innoncent. I have had a murmur my whole life my cardiologist stopped including it in reports to my GP a long time ago as we know what's wrong and the murmur does not really tell you any more.

  • I was going to make the same comment re the holiday in fact I would go a step further and by just reading your own concerns would cancel until the matter has been resolved.

    I may have been unlucky but my own experience was that I had a lot longer to wait for an appointment with a cardiologist.

    I was about 5 months from initial appointment with GP to angiogram then a further 6 months to have the bypass.

    I hope you get all the answers you need but really you need to give a lot of thought re the holiday.

  • Thanks Heather,

    I know its a tough one as its our two year anniversary and we paid a fortune for it and its got almost a zero cancellation policy.

    Obviously health comes first so under doctors advice we would 100% cancel if needed , however we were going to pay to have the echocardiogram if the wait time was going to be too long so we could at least know if its an innocent murmur before we fly.

    I am sorry to hear you waited so long for your tests :( nothing worse than a wait.

    Thanks for your response.

  • I have great sympathy as I had planned a 60 day trip to Oz/NZ (flying business class) this Feb - April. It was booked to celebrate my 60th birthday which is in September.My friend and I took months planning the trip as we were booking everything DIY.

    I had asked my cardiologist to transfer me from the local hospital to the Heath as locally they didn't do the stents at the same time as angiogram which I thought would save time if I needed to have them - never thinking a bypass would be the answer, the waiting list at the Heath was soooooo long that eventually I switched back and after consultation with the cardiologist and my GP I cancelled the holiday. Luckily we did as the angiogram showed a bypass was the answer for me.

    I can assure you I tried nearly everything to save the holiday but even if I paid for the angiogram I would still have had to have the bypass and they would have cost a lot more than the holiday.

    We were lucky in that the insurance paid for everything bar £35 excess and we were surprised when cancelling the fights (which alone were over £7 K for the 2 of us) they refunded all but £500 pp. I say surprised as the booking said non transferable and non refundable so we thought we would have to fight the insurance for over £8K

    So along way of saying I know and feel for you but having cancelled the trip I was a lot more laid back about the op and wasn't on the phone a couple of times a week asking if I were on the list yet.

  • Oh gosh I can only imagine, must have been devastating with such a big trip and then such shocking news. As you said you just don't know what's to be when under investigation, and its all a waiting game.

    I sympathize with you on the waiting, Its like postcode lottery here being you only get quick referrals and treatment when you live in the right area with access to the right hospitals.

    I think the problem is also for people like yourself who then get the diagnoses and are discharged quickly without advice that's needed and your almost left thinking what next and then all the questions come.

    So glad to hear you was able to salvage the funds from the cancelled holiday, must have been a relief. :)

  • Thanks for your response, Thankfully I have not booked my travel insurance yet as we wanted to at least know the results of the echocardiogram which we will pay to have done privately if its not scheduled before our travel date.

    I agree about the murmur, he himself said he could have been born with it as he had an extremely strong heart as a child that baffled all the doctors which they compared to an athletes heart.

    Its just a shame doctors fail to mention these things and of course non medical people such as me and my partner panic and go into meltdown when it could have been so innocent yet the unknown.

    I appreciate all your advice thanks.

  • Thanks for your response, Thankfully I have not booked my travel insurance yet as we wanted to at least know the results of the echocardiogram which we will pay to have done privately if its not scheduled before our travel date.

    I agree about the murmur, he himself said he could have been born with it as he had an extremely strong heart as a child that baffled all the doctors which they compared to an athletes heart.

    Its just a shame doctors fail to mention these things and of course non medical people such as me and my partner panic and go into meltdown when it could have been so innocent yet the unknown.

    I appreciate all your advice thanks.

  • Hi,

    I am sorry to hear that you are going through this stressful process because of the waiting and the report you received. I think it is important to check the details of the travel insurance, although ideally if he could have tests and a confirmed diagnosis to declare to the travel insurance company that would be best.

    I would recommend contacting the consultant to see whether they could provide any additional information about the report and also to discuss your concerns regarding your travel plans. It may be completely fine, but I think at least for peace of mind it is worth checking with them and discussing it with the GP.

    I hope you can get a speedy response so that you can appropriately plan for your travel plans, knowing whether they are still advisable before you have the booked appointment.

    Best wishes,

    Emily

  • Thanks Emily,

    I agree the tests are essential so we said if they have not been scheduled by October, we will have no choice but to pay to have them done privately well in advance before our holiday in November.

    I think we will book an appointment with the GP, perhaps they can give more of an insight its so difficult getting hold of the cardiologists once you have left your appointment.

    Thanks for your advice.

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