functional heart murmur

A functional heart murmur is a harmless heart murmur (abnormal sound) made by a healthy heart beating strongly. As blood rushes with great force out of the ventricles of the heart, turbulence in the blood flow can make the walls of the heart vibrate with a characteristic low-pitched "twang." Eighty percent or more of all normal children will be diagnosed at some point with a functional heart murmur. The truth is, if we listen carefully enough to a quiet patient with a good stethoscope we can hear at least a faint murmur in just about every normal child. Functional murmurs are short, often twangy in sound, with an ejection type pattern of crescendo-decrescendo (waxing and waning) intensity. There is an audible gap between the "lup" and the beginning of the murmur, and between the end of the murmur sound and the "dudup."

These murmurs used to be referred to as Still's murmurs, after whom else but Dr. Still. This term is in desuetude (I am thrilled after all these years to have the opportunity to use the term desuetude - even if it is thoroughly pedantic. I doubt I shall have the opportunity again soon, for the term is itself in desuetude).

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