Heart Model
Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts Richard E. Klabunde, PhD

Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts 3e textbook cover Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts, 3rd edition textbook, Published by Wolters Kluwer (2021)

CNormal and Abnormal Blood Pressure, Physiology, Pathophysiology and Treatment book cover Normal and Abnormal Blood Pressure, published by Richard E. Klabunde (2013)


Murmurs are abnormal heart sounds that are heard using a stethoscope. The sounds most commonly originate from the abnormal movement of blood across valves and between cardiac chambers. When this occurs, turbulence results, which produces vibrations in the chambers of the heart or outflow vessels (aorta or pulmonary artery) that are detected as audible, low-frequency sounds. Murmurs are distinct from the normal heart sounds that represent the closure of the aortic and pulmonic valves and atrioventricular valves during the cardiac cycle.

Murmurs can be divided into two general classifications related to origin: those caused by valve defects and those caused by inter-chamber defects that permit an abnormal flow of blood between cardiac chambers. To understand the pathophysiology of murmurs, it is first necessary to understand the physical factors governing the flow of blood (i.e., hemodynamics), the basic anatomy of the heart, and the sequence of events that occurs as the heart contracts and relaxes (i.e., cardiac cycle).

Murmurs can also be separated into systolic and diastolic murmurs. The former occurs during ventricular contraction (systole) and the latter occurs during ventricular filling (diastole).

Revised 01/26/2023




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