Doctors detect most heart murmurs, or abnormal sounds of the heart, during a routine physical examination. While many heart murmurs are not a cause for concern, doctors may perform an echocardiogram of the heart to see if there is an abnormality in one of the four valves of the heart. Examples of such abnormalities include valves that do not allow enough blood through them (stenosis) and those that do not close properly and leak (regurgitation).
“If we do find a problem in one of the valves, we will need to perform an annual echocardiogram to keep an eye on it,” says Clifford R. Talbert Jr., MD, FACC, interventional cardiologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “If the problem is severe, you may need to undergo a heart catheterization to investigate further or, in some cases, turn to surgery to correct the problem.”
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