Heart murmur

An abnormal sound perceived while auscultation (listening to) the heart. This sound is produced by any disturbance in blood flow, for example when blood flows through a narrow opening or when flow turbulences exist. Conditions causing such disturbances are usually associated with valvular defects or defects in the septum dividing the two cardiac parts, the left and the right part. Sometimes, particularly in children, murmurs can be heard even if no anatomical defects are present. Murmurs are divided in systolic and diastolic murmurs, according to the phase of the heart action during which it is auscultated, the systole or the diastole, respectively.