What Is the Difference Between a Heart Murmur and Arrhythmia?

The heart of patients with arrhythmia does not beat at a normal pace, and a heart murmur is the sound of blood being pumped through the heart, asserts Virtual Pediatric Hospital. Heart murmurs are common and have many causes, but they are sometimes a symptom of arrhythmia.

Other symptoms of arrhythmia include a fast or slow heartbeat, difficulties with breathing or performing exercises, a blue shade to the lips and dizziness or lightheadedness, according to Virtual Pediatric Hospital. Arrhythmia may be cause by a heart defect from birth, heart disease or high blood pressure. External factors that may lead to arrhythmia include smoking, alcohol, caffeine, pregnancy and using certain medications.

A physician checks for arrhythmia by looking for murmurs in the heart, adds Virtual Pediatric Hospital. When a physician finds a murmur, he examines further to determine what type of murmur it is, when it occurs and if it changes. Most murmurs in infants are innocent and disappear without treatment. If there are signs that the murmur may be a symptom of an underlying condition, the patient is examined by a cardiologist. If the cardiologist diagnoses arrythmia, treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the patient’s medical history.