The sound of your heart beating is the sound of the closure of your heart valves. When there is a problem with a valve (stenosis or regurgitation), the blood flow across the valves becomes turbulent. This causes a sound, which is heard as a murmur during an examination. Your doctor can usually hear the murmur while listening to your heartbeat using a stethoscope.

There are two types of heart murmurs: diastolic, when the heart muscle relaxes between beats, and systolic, when the heart muscle contracts to squeeze the blood through the chambers.



  • Medication
    • Valve surgery
    • Heart valve repair: May be preferable, as keeping your own tissue may be better than replacing a heart valve. This is most commonly performed in cases of mitral valve regurgitation (leakage) but may be possible in other situations, as well. Heart valve repair of the mitral valve is now possible using percutaneous (through the skin) treatments in certain cases. 
    • Heart valve replacement: Can be done using a variety of valves, including mechanical and tissue valves (pig or cow tissue). Learn more about heart valve disease and heart valve surgery

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For more information or to schedule an appointment with a heart specialist, please call our scheduling line.

Phone: 202-342-2400

Related Resources

Learn more about heart murmur treatment options, including: