The key difference between heart murmur and arrhythmia is that heart murmur is an extra and unusual sound in heartbeats, while arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat rhythm.
Heart murmur and arrhythmia are two health conditions associated with the heart. A heart murmur is common and not always due to an illness or disorder. However, arrhythmia is an uncommon condition and has an association with other underlying conditions such as heart attack, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure. Moreover, a heart murmur can occasionally indicate the presence of arrhythmia, although it is not always the case.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Heart Murmur
3. What is Arrhythmia
4. Similarities – Heart Murmur and Arrhythmia
5. Heart Murmur vs Arrhythmia in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Heart Murmur vs Arrhythmia
What is a Heart Murmur?
A heart murmur is the whooshing sound heard through a stethoscope when blood flows over the heart abnormally. This is a common condition, especially in children. It does not necessarily indicate a health problem. A murmur may mean there is a problem in the heart. But murmurs are also present in healthy people who do not have a heart problem. There are three types of heart murmurs: systolic (occurs when the heart muscle contracts), diastolic (occurs when the heart muscle relaxes), continuous (occurs during both contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle). A heart murmur can be caused by fever, anemia, hyperthyroidism, phases of rapid growth, such as adolescence, physical activity or exercise, pregnancy, holes in the heart, cardiac shunts, calcium deposits, endocarditis, and rheumatic fever.
Moreover, the symptoms of a heart murmur may include blue or gray fingernails, chest pain, cough that does not go away, dizziness, swollen liver, swollen neck veins, fainting, heavy sweating without activity, poor appetite, lack of growth (in infants), shortness of breath, swelling, or sudden weight gain.
A heart murmur can be diagnosed through physical examination, family medical history, echocardiogram, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), and cardiac catheterization. Furthermore, innocent heart murmurs do not normally need treatment. However, a worrisome heart murmur can be treated through medications (blood thinners (anticoagulants), diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta-blockers, and heart valve surgery.
What is Arrhythmia?
Arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat rhythm. It is also called dysrhythmia. Arrhythmia can be caused by coronary artery disease, irritable tissue in the heart, high blood pressure, changes in the heart muscle, cardiomyopathy, valve disorders, electrolyte imbalances, injury in the heart, the healing process after heart surgery, and other medical conditions. Moreover, symptoms in this condition may include heart palpitations, dizziness or light-headedness, fainting episodes, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and weakness or fatigue.
Arrhythmia is diagnosed through an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), blood tests, ambulatory monitors, stress test, echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology study (EPS), tilt table test, CT scan, and heart MRI. Furthermore, treatment options for arrhythmia may include medications (antiarrhythmic drugs and anticoagulants), lifestyle changes, therapies, devices (permanent pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator, and surgery.
What are the Similarities Between Heart Murmur and Arrhythmia?
- Heart murmur and arrhythmia are two health conditions associated with the heart.
- A heart murmur can sometimes be a sign of arrhythmia.
- Both these conditions may have similar symptoms, such as chest pain, dizziness, weakness or fatigue, etc.
- Both these conditions can be diagnosed through physical examination and imaging testing.
- They are treated through medications and surgeries.
What is the Difference Between Heart Murmur and Arrhythmia?
A heart murmur is an extra and unusual sound in a heartbeat, while arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat rhythm. Thus, this is the key difference between heart murmur and arrhythmia. Furthermore, a heart murmur is a very common condition, while arrhythmia is a less common condition.
The below infographic presents the differences between heart murmur and arrhythmia in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Heart Murmur vs Arrhythmia
The heart is the fist-sized organ that pumps blood throughout the human body. Heart murmur and arrhythmia are two heart conditions. They are two associated health conditions. This is because heart murmurs can sometimes be a sign of arrhythmia. However, a heart murmur is a common condition. On the other, arrhythmia is uncommon, and it is often associated with other underlying conditions. Moreover, a heart murmur is an extra and unusual sound in a heartbeat, while arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat rhythm. So, this summarizes the difference between murmur and arrhythmia.
1. “Heart Murmurs: Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention.” WebMD.
2. “What You Need to Know about Arrhythmias.” Cleveland Clinic.
1. “Phonocardiograms from normal and abnormal heart sounds” By Madhero88 – Own workReferencenetter image, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “2024 Cardiac Arrhythmias” By OpenStax College – Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site, Jun 19, 2013. (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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