Heart murmurs – abnormal sounds heard through the stethoscope – are caused by turbulent blood flow in the heart or blood vessels. They can be associated with a range of conditions, including valve defects, high blood pressure and heart failure in adults and congenital heart defects in children. Patients should be investigated carefully to identify the underlying cause, which will determine treatment and prognosis. Some pathological murmurs require no treatment. If they are severe, however, surgery may be needed to correct the causative defect. Drug treatments may be indicated for some murmurs.