valve problem

hello there,

you're a smart bunch...

does anyone know that if you have a sluggish valve, will it ALWAYS show up on ECG? or is this something the dr.'s can hear on exam and get an echo to diagnose?

thank you!




by patpeter - 2007-11-09 07:11:40

hi luckyloo,
Smitty's post was perfect, you can definately here heart murmurs with a stethoscope and they use the echocardiogram to actually see it, they can measure blood flow and stuff like that I think. Hope that helps

Valve Problem

by SMITTY - 2007-11-09 12:11:16

Hi Luckyloo,

My wife has a heart murmur that is the result of a valve opening and closing sluggishly. She has had this for most of her life and it is the result of rheumatic fever when she was 8 or 9 years old. I have no idea if this shows on her ECG or not, but I do know her doctor listens for it and notes any changes in the sound. The following may give you a little more information on the subject.


Heart Murmurs are abnormal heart sounds that are produced as a result of turbulent blood flow which is sufficient to produce audible noise. This most commonly results from narrowing or leaking of valves or the presence of abnormal passages through which blood flows in or near the heart. Murmurs are not usually part of the normal cardiac physiology and thus warrant further investigations. However, they sometimes result from harmless flow characteristics of no clinical significance.

Heart murmurs can be classified by seven different characteristics: timing, shape, location, radiation, intensity, pitch and quality. Timing refers to whether the murmur is a systolic or diastolic murmur. Shape refers to the intensity over time; murmurs can be crescendo, decrescendo or crescendo-decrescendo. Location refers to where the heart murmur is auscultated best. There are 6 places on the anterior chest to listen for heart murmurs; the first five out of six are adjacent to the sternum. Each of these locations roughly correspond to a specific part of the heart. The locations are: 2nd right intercostal space, 2nd - 5th left intercostal spaces, and 5th mid-clavicular intercostal space. Radiation refers to where the sound of the murmur radiates. The general rule of thumb is that the sound radiates in the direction of the blood flow. Intensity refers to the loudness of the murmur, and is graded on a scale from 0-6/6. The pitch of a murmur is either low, medium or high and is determined by whether it can be auscultated best with the bell or diaphragm of a stethoscope. Some examples of the quality of a murmur are: blowing, harsh, rumbling or musical.

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