Find out what it is and what you need to know from National Jewish Health Cardiologist, Andrew Freeman, MD.



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A heart murmur is what a lot of people think is so very serious, but it’s actually nothing more than a noise.

And, what I always tell people is if you live in a two story home or apartment building, when the person above you is flushing the toilet or showering, you hear flow going through the pipes.

That’s essentially what a murmur is.

A murmur is a noise of a higher velocity jet flow through the heart.

So there are four valves in the heart.

All of them can be leaky in one direction and tight in the other direction.

And if they are leaky or tight for whatever reason, we can hear them many times, and that’s a murmur.

But, there are many, many, many, innocent murmurs, meaning that we can hear it, but it’s nothing more than flow.

A lot of people get nervous when they come to see the cardiologist, so their heart rate is up and they're very nervous and their heart’s really pounding away and sometimes we can just hear the flow, and that can make a murmur by itself.

But, any murmur should really be investigated, and a cardiologist is a good place to start, and many times will make a diagnosis of a valve problem with something called an echocardiogram which is an ultrasound of the heart.

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