• The Heart House

Innocent vs. Not-Innocent

What's an Innocent Heart Murmur?

An innocent or functional heart murmur is a murmur not resulting from heart disease. This is the most common type of heart murmur and is also known as functional murmur. It is heard because the child may have fever, anemia, or a thin chest. It disappears when the fever subsides or when the anemia is treated.

What's a Not-Innocent Heart Murmur?

A murmur, which indicates there is something abnormal in the heart or a major artery is, called a not-innocent, not-functional, or organic murmur. A narrow valve, a leaking valve, or a hole in the heart, usually causes it.

What may indicate a non-innocent heart murmur:

Your newborn turns blue, tires with feedings, breathes fast, sweats excessively, or is not gaining weight.

Your toddler is not growing, having frequent lung infections or tires and gets short of breath with moderate activity.


Your school-aged child or teenager complains of dizziness, fainting, easily tires, or has shortness of breath during exercise.

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Contact Us

Children's Heart Institute

P. O. Box 10066 McLean, VA 22102

Central Registration (patient appointments):

phone - 703-481-5801

Billing Inquiries:

phone - 571-612-2600 /  fax - 571-266-4096