Correlation between Murmurs and Echocardiographic Findings; From an Imaging Cardiologist Point of View

Curr Probl Cardiol. 2023 Feb;48(2):101479. doi: 10.1016/j.cpcardiol.2022.101479. Epub 2022 Nov 3.


A heart murmur in adults is a common reason for referral for echocardiography at most general cardiology clinics in Europe. A murmur may indicate either a mild age-related valvular calcification or regurgitation, or represent a significant heart valve disease requiring valvular intervention. Generally, the correlation between murmurs by auscultation and severity of heart valve disease by echocardiography is poor. Particularly, the severity and characterization of diastolic murmurs by auscultation may poorly correlate with echocardiographic findings. This narrative review aims to summarize the differential diagnoses of physiological and pathological murmurs, describes the current referral practice of murmur patients for echocardiography, and presents a single-center experience on the correlation of auscultation and echocardiographic findings with a particular focus on aortic and mitral valve diseases. A careful auscultation of the heart prior to the echocardiogram is mandatory and may help to predict the echocardiographic findings and their interpretation in view of the clinical information. The correlation between clinical examination, point of care ultrasound and standard echocardiography is a matter of continued exploration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiologists*
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Heart Auscultation / methods
  • Heart Murmurs / diagnosis
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans