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Can you explain more about a slight heart murmur?

I’m so upset, my identical twin sister went for her yearly physical and her doctor found a slight murmur. She had a cardiogram and that was fine, then she had an echo and Doppler.  He said her Doppler was good, but on her echo there was a mild mitral valve leak. She is a basket case. She was never diagnosed before from her previous doctor who she was going to for the last 10 years, but retired. I am going to get checked to see if I have the same. This actually blew her mind because she does take extremely good care of herself. Her cholesterol is excellent. Her HDL 82, LDL 99, triglycerides 45. She eats a very healthy diet, does exercise each day and walks. Can this be reversed? Why did the previous doctor never tell her that she had a slight murmur, the way her new doctor told her?   

submitted by Kaye from Staten Island, New York on 2/27/2013


Raymond F. Stainback, MDby Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Raymond F. Stainback, MD    

A "murmur" is the sound of blood coursing through the heart as heard through a stethoscope. Slight murmurs are frequently heard in people with no significant cardiac disease. These are sometimes called "innocent" murmurs, in fact, if the murmur is very soft & early in the cardiac cycle. A soft murmur can also occur in mild mitral valve regurgitation. Mild mitral regurgitation is a commonly incidental finding after middle age and is usually of no clinical concern. Therefore, there is likely little to be concerned about. Perhaps your sister has already been able to discuss her distress with whomever detected a slight murmur. 

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Updated March 2013
Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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