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Heart murmur grading (auscultation)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Murmurs are recorded in six gradations:

  • 1/6 murmur is just audible by an expert in optimal conditions
  • 2/6 is quiet
  • 3/6 is moderately loud
  • 4/6 is markedly loud } are accompanied by
  • 5/6 is very loud } a thrill
  • 6/6 is audible without a stethoscope

The intensity of a murmur does not indicate the severity of a valve defect. The sound produced by a valve defect depends as much on flow as on valve aperture.

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