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Damaged heart valve and systolic murmur

Various causes lead to creation of systolic murmur, though it usually happens if heart’s valves are damaged. Deformation of valve can be congenital (inherited) or acquired in life due to several reasons. Acquired conditions can be isolated and combined. For example, combined condition affects not just one, but several valves and it is also followed by the obstruction or insufficiency of right or left heart ventricular chamber.

Most common cause of the damaged valve (mitral and aortal) is rheumatic fever. Another type of valve, tricuspid is usually damaged thanks to the insufficiency of the right part of the heart, or it is a consequence of the decomposition of the left part of the heart. Beside rheumatic fever, common causes of the damaged valve are myxomatous degeneration, endocarditis, calcification of valves in older people, and prolapse of valve. Inflammatory process in rheumatoid fever leads to changes of valves that include thickening of their tissue, calcification and fibrosis. As a consequence of those changes, depending on the type of valve, different murmur can be heard.

Conditions caused by damaged valve

Insufficiency of aorta is caused by damaged aorta valve and systolic murmur is a symptom of this condition. Another cause of aorta insufficiency can be syphilis or Marfan syndrome, which is characterized by damaged connective valve tissue. Also, certain congenital abnormalities might be the cause, such as bicuspid instead of tricuspid valve. Aortal insufficiency includes regurgitation, returning of the blood from aorta into heart because of the damaged valves. As a result, dyspnea happens, pain in the chest, syncope (loss of consciousness), and three types of murmurs can be heard in this situation. Those are diastolic, midsystolic, and Austin-Flint murmur. The last murmur is heard because of the pressure that blood applies on frontal mitral valve.

Another condition caused by damaged valves and symptomized with systolic murmur is mitral insufficiency and it is caused by several factors that lead to malfunction of the mitral valve. Usually this valve cannot completely close the gap between heart chambers while the heart is pumping and that ends in disrupted blood flow in the heart, which is a serious heart problem. All these changes can be spotted with ECG and murmurs can be heard with stethoscope. A lot of experience and practice is needed in order for a doctor to hear and make a difference between several murmurs. Discovering those murmurs is a first step in dealing with the heart problems. If left undiscovered, symptoms become more serious and damage of the heart is increased and intensified.

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