Identifying the Cause of a Heart Murmur can be Key Factor in Detecting Serious Heart Disease Risks
As part of its ‘Know Your Heart’ campaign, physicians at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi are encouraging patients with heart murmurs to see a specialist and receive an echocardiogram, in case it is an indicator of a more serious condition.
The ‘Know Your Heart’ campaign is a month-long initiative designed to help patients reduce their risks of cardiovascular disease, ahead of World Heart Day on September 29.
A heart murmur occurs when there is turbulent or abnormal blood flow across the heart valve or an abnormal connection and can be present at birth (congenital) or develop later in life. They can be harmless and do not need treatment, but some heart murmurs may require special tests to ensure the murmur is not caused by a serious underlying heart condition.
Potential serious causes include cardiac shunts resulting from a hole in the heart, heart valve abnormalities, and infections such as endocarditis.
“When doctors listen to the heart using a stethoscope, a normal heart beat has two sounds created by the heart’s valves opening and closing as blood is pushed through the heart chambers. Heart murmurs make a slightly different noise, which can indicate an underlying issue,” explains Dr. E. Murat Tuzcu, Chief Academic Officer & Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cardiology, Heart & Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
“We are asking patients who have previously been diagnosed with heart murmurs to see a cardiologist and possibly undergo an echocardiogram, even if it is thought as benign. This is particularly important if the patient is experiencing other symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations or lightheadedness,” he added.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Heart & Vascular Institute’s Heart Valve Disease Program specializes in disorders in which heart valves are either too narrow or are leaking, with a dedicated multi-disciplinary team offering the latest methods for diagnosis and treatment.
Equipped with different imaging techniques such as ultrasound, X-ray and CT, physicians can detect valve problems and plan the course of treatment accordingly. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, the unparalleled extension of the United States’ number one hospital for cardiology & heart surgery for the 24th consecutive year – Cleveland Clinic, also offers minimally invasive procedures for valve repair and replacement, resulting in less trauma and faster healing for the patient.
Patients who wish to book an appointment can visit: https://www.clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae/en/patients-and-visitors/forms-and-documents/pages/request-an-appointment.aspx.