The prevalence of valvular abnormalities in patients who were referred for echocardiographic examination with a primary diagnosis of "heart murmur"

Mohammad Reza Movahed, Ramin Ebrahimi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The prevalence of valvular abnormality and innocent murmur in patients who are referred for echocardiographic evaluation with the diagnosis of "murmur" is not known. The goal of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of valvular abnormalities in such patients. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the echocardiograms that were referred with the primary ordering diagnosis of "murmur," for the presence of valvular abnormalities. For comparison, we used other documented primary reasons for echocardiographic referral, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, etc. Results: In this cohort, 7,684 echocardiogram reports documented primary diagnostic reasons for echocardiographic referral. A total of 3,460 echocardiogram reports (45%) were coded "murmur" as the primary reason for the study referral. There was a higher prevalence of female patient referrals for heart murmur evaluation (61.8% vs. 38.2%). Although, patients with murmur had a higher prevalence of valvular abnormalities, compared to other reasons for echocardiographic examination, the prevalence of valvular abnormality was less than 50% (48.6% vs. 35.5%) in both groups. Despite the higher number of female patients referred with the diagnosis of murmur, the percentage of abnormal valves was lower in women (45.6% vs. 53.4% in men). Conclusion: The prevalence of valvular abnormalities in patients who were referred with the diagnosis of murmur for echocardiographic examination was less than 50%, with a lesser degree found in women. Routine utilization of echocardiography for evaluation of all murmurs may be unwarranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
JournalEchocardiography
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2007

Keywords

  • Aortic regurgitation
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Echocardiography
  • Mitral regurgitation
  • Mitral stenosis
  • Murmur
  • Valvular abnormalities
  • Valvular heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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