Systolic murmurs are soft heartbeats heard during ventricular contractions. Read this article to learn about the causes of systolic murmurs.

Systolic Murmur Causes

Does your doctor look perplexed every time he or she rubs a stethoscope above your belly? Or, to be more precise, have you stopped taking care of your health? We all know that some maladies can be prevented while some are purely inevitable. How many of us actually do take health precautions? How many of us are aware of systolic murmurs? ‘Systolic heart murmurs’ are not always harmless, but they are very often red alerts of a potential heart valve problem. Remember the startled expression on your doctor’s face? He or she probably heard a swishing and whistling and inferred an unfavourable heart condition commonly referred to aortic stenosis. Medical Statistics indicate that over 5% of all people aged 75 and above are prone to significant aortic stenosis. Most of these patients convey audible systolic murmurs to a doctor’s stethoscope. Essentially identified as a series of vibrations with variable gaps, systolic murmurs begin during or after the first heart sound and end before or during the second heart sound. Find out more information on the causes of systolic murmurs.

Causes Of Systolic Murmur

Aortic Valve Sclerosis
Aortic-valve sclerosis occurs when large calcium deposits form on the aortic valve in the heart. This eventually leads to narrowing at the opening of the aortic valve and reduces the blood flow to the heart. Such abnormalities cause chest pain, heart disorders and ultimately death. Aortic-valve sclerosis increases the risk of death amongst many patients that didn’t possess any pre-existing heart disorder.

Endocarditis is the term used for the inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. As the heart valves fail to receive a consistent supply of blood, entry of defensive immune mechanisms like white blood cells into the valves is blocked. In these dreadful cases, bacteria and other foreign organisms cling to the valve surfaces and wreck the host immune response.

Mitral Regurgitation
It is a heart malfunction in which the mitral valve cannot close properly once blood is pumped from the heart. In this scenario, blood tends to leak through the mitral valve from the left ventricle and straight into the left atrium. As soon as the left ventricle contracts, the blood regurgitates back into the left atrium. This is precipitated by mitral valve prolapse which in turn occurs due to myxomatous degeneration, a pathological deterioration of the connective tissue.

A study of 199 healthy pregnant women revealed that 93.2% of them produced systolic murmurs at one time or the other during their pregnancy. Whether at the initial, middle or latter stages of pregnancy, women experience invariable systolic murmurs. Soft ejection murmurs occur frequently at the second intercostal space situated at the left or right of the sternum. These murmurs are justified by physiologic rise in blood volume and a simultaneous increased flow velocity.

Rheumatic Fever
Rheumatic heart disease is known to result in isolated mitral regurgitation devoid of concomitant mitral stenosis or any such abnormalities. Incountries where rheumatic fever is widespread, patients are greatly prone to exhibiting systolic murmurs and issues pertaining to their cardiovascular systems. Recent surgical pathologic data strongly suggests that rheumatic fever is almost definitely, a cause of mitral valve prolapse.

Characterized by the excess of thyroid hormone on the cardiovascular system, Thyrotoxicosis can aggravate the chance of cardiac arrest. Certain medical findings have revealed that an incidence of mitral valve prolapse is prevalent amongst 15% of the hyperthyroid patients, rendering thyrotoxicosis as the principal factor leading to cardiomegaly, atrial fibrillation, or congestive heart failure.

When one is inflicted with anemia, the oxygen capacity within their blood reduces. Thus in turn, the cardiac output increases so as to supply more blood to the tissue and meet the body’s metabolic demands. Due to this hyperdynamic state, the heart pumps faster and faster. This steep rise in the heart rate is accompanied by an ejection systolic murmur.

Other Significant Causes
High blood pressure, congenital heart defects like malformation of the arteries and valves, and holes in the septum all give rise to systolic heart murmurs.

How to Cite

More from