Heart Conditions

The heart is a specialised muscle that pumps blood throughout the body. It pumps blood to itself via the coronary arteries. The rate and rhythm of the heartbeat is controlled by a specialised electrical conduction system. Within the heart chambers, there are heart valves to prevent blood flowing in the wrong direction. Problems arising from any of these heart components (muscle pump, coronary arteries, electrical conduction system, heart valves) can lead to a heart condition that causes significant symptoms and important illness.

Heart Murmur

A heart murmur is an extra sound or noise that is heard arising from the flow of blood through the various heart valves and chambers. Heart murmurs are often caused by turbulence of blood flowing across a heart valve that is either narrowed or leaking. The loudness of the murmur does not usually indicate the severity of the valve narrowing or leakiness. Sometimes, a murmur can be present without any abnormal valve function; these are known as innocent flow murmurs.

If a heart murmur is detected, your GP might refer you to Heart Centre St John of God to have an echocardiogram. Your cardiologist might recommend further specialised tests (e.g. cardiac catheterisation) if the condition is severe or causing symptoms.