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Often an abnormal heart murmur may not cause any signs or symptoms. Your doctor will be able to hear an abnormal sound during an exam. If symptoms do occur, they could indicate a heart problem. Symptoms that require immediate attention include: skin that appears blue (lips and fingertips); swelling or sudden weight gain; shortness of breath; chronic cough; enlarged liver; enlarged neck veins; poor appetite and fatigue; heavy sweating with little or no exertion; chest pain; dizziness and fainting.

During a physical exam, your doctor will listen to your heart with a stethoscope to identify the specific characteristics of your murmur including:

  • The loudness of the murmur
  • The location of the murmur in the heart
  • The pitch of the murmur
  • When the murmur is occurring
  • The length (time) of the murmur