Questions and Answers

A heart murmur is a murmur that can be detected in the heart area. In about 80% of children, a heart murmur can be heard at least once in their lifetime. The decision regarding the urgency of the findings depends on a large number of data, and the scope is too broad to elaborate on here.

A rapid pulse is a common occurrence in pediatric medicine. When we are dealing with a rapid or slow pulse, the most important thing is whether the pulse is appropriate for the physical condition and age of the child. A rapid pulse in a crying baby with a fever is possibly completely normal, while the same pulse rate in an adolescent would be abnormal. 
Sometimes we detect a rapid pulse that does not result from the body’s need to increase the heart’s capacity, and that requires examination. In such cases, ECG is an excellent initial test, and being sent to a pediatric cardiology specialist is routine practice. In any case, the detection of a rapid pulse, if it continues for a length of time, requires examination.

The US guidelines regarding prescribing aspirin for Kawasaki disease recommend giving a low dosage of aspirin for 6-8 weeks (3-5 mg/kg) after the patient’s temperature goes down, if there were coronary findings that passed or there were no coronary findings from the start. However, it is important to pay attention to the treating cardiologist’s instructions, who may have good reason to continue treatment for other reasons.
PFO is not a heart defect but an anatomical variant. It is the acronym for patent foramen ovale, in other words, the purplish window between the upper atriums remains open. This opening between the atriums is normal (even important) in a fetus and is meant to close within the first two years of life. In about a quarter of the population, the opening remains open and does not constitute a cardiac problem and does not affect normal functioning in life (although it prevents diving deeper than 10 meters, according to the latest guidelines). In any case, it is sensible to repeat an echocardiogram at about the age of two, to see if it has closed in the meantime.
A VSD of about 1 mm is considered small. Such openings usually close on their own by age one or two and poses no excessive risk of heart disease. Heavy breathing caused by the heart will occur in these situations in cases of heart failure, and that is not the given situation. It is sensible to keep track of the situation, and a follow-up examination every year or two is certainly reasonable.
Marfan syndrome is a genetic syndrome that causes changes in the body’s connective tissue. As a result, there are quite a number of symptoms. These children are usually tall, thin, have highly-flexible joints, and so on. In order to diagnose MFS, a number of physical criteria are required, including ectopia lentis and cardiovascular involvement (aortic root dilation), and as such, it is important to be evaluated by a pediatric cardiology specialist. The cardiologist will perform an echocardiogram to evaluate the structure and width of the aorta and its root. In accordance with the child’s height and weight, the cardiologist will determine if the child meets the cardiac criterion.

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Dr. Dan Hadas is a specialist in pediatrics Pediatrics treats all aspects of children’s health, from infancy, through childhood,

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