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Prevalence and diagnostic accuracy of heart disease in children with asymptomatic murmurs

  • Adziri H. Sackey (a1)


This study was performed to determine the prevalence of CHD among children referred with asymptomatic murmurs and to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the assessment of asymptomatic heart murmurs by general paediatricians. We reviewed the records of children who had been referred by general paediatricians to a cardiology clinic for further evaluation of a heart murmur. The referring paediatricians’ clinical assessment of the murmur was compared with the cardiologist’s echocardiographic diagnosis. A total of 150 children were referred by paediatricians to a paediatric cardiologist for further assessment of a heart murmur. Out of 150 children, 72 had a paediatrician’s diagnosis of innocent murmur; of these 72 patients, two (3%) had heart disease on echocardiography. In all, after echocardiography, a range of congenital heart lesions was found in 28 (19%) of the 150 children. CHD is not rare among children with asymptomatic heart murmurs. In this series of children with asymptomatic murmurs, 19% had heart lesions on echocardiography. Most, but not all, of the children with heart lesions were identified on clinical examination by general paediatricians.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: A. H. Sackey, Senior Lecturer, Department of Child Health, School of Medicine and Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, P. O. Box 4236, Accra, Ghana. Tel: 00233541725324; E-mail:


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