characteristics of innocent childhood murmurs

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • no other abnormality - just a murmur
  • no thrill
  • the murmur usually has characteristics listed below:
    • heard over a local area
    • does not radiate outside the praecordium
    • of a short, low frequency
    • occurs in early or midsystole
    • never diastolic
    • shows variation in intensity with changes in posture; may disappear completely with the Valsalva manoeuvre; sitting or deep inspiration makes the murmur quieter
    • increased with tachycardia eg crying, anxiety
    • ECG and chest X-ray normal
    • child is asymptomatic


  • Radley-Smith (1993). Physical signs of congenital heart lesions. Medicine International, 21(10), 467-71.