PURPOSE: The prevalence of valvular abnormality and innocent murmur in patients who were 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 these patients.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the echocardiograms performed at our institution which 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, and etc.
RESULTS: In this cohort, 7,684 echocardiogram reports documented primary diagnostic reason for echocardiographic referral. A total of 3,460 echocardiagram reports (45%) were coded “murmur” as a primary reason for the study referral. Female gender had higher prevalence of referral for heart murmur evaluation (61.8% vs 38.2%). Although, patients with murmur had higher prevalence of valvular abnormalities in comparison to other reasons for echocardiographic examination, the prevalence was less than 50% (48.6% vs. 35.5%). Despite 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 is less than 50% with lesser degree in women.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study suggests that more than half of the murmurs are probably innocent murmurs in origin and are more common in women.
DISCLOSURE: Mohammad-Reza Movahed, None.