Heart murmurs are heart sounds that are heard by auscultation of the chest. Some believe that turbulence of blood flow accounts for the formation of murmurs, others believe that vortex formation being the cause. Nonetheless, everybody seem to agree that they are associated with either abnormal valves (regurgitation or stenosis) or abnormal blood flow (hyperdynamic circulation producing functional murmur). A murmur is characterized by the following: the location where it is heard loudest: e.g. left sternal border, pulmonic area, aortic area; the timing of the cardiac cycle when the murmur is present: systolic ejection murmur (pansystolic), diastolic filling murmur, systolic regurgitant murmur, diastolic regurgitant murmur; the intensity of the murmur: ranges from grade I indicating a murmur not readily audible to Grad VI indicating a murmur audible with the stethoscope removed from the chest; radiation: the area along the surface of the chest where the murmur continues to be audible.
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