Heart Murmur Duration
Heart murmur sound duration refers to the portion of systole or diastole that the murmur occupies. Murmurs lasting throughout systole are referred to as pansystolic or holosystolic.
Evaluation of the murmur's pitch should be made by classifying the pitch (frequency) as low, medium or high. The stethoscope's bell can be helpful with low pitched sounds while the diaphragm is used for medium or high pitched sounds.
Heart Murmur Shape
Heart murmur sounds can be described by increasing or decreasing intensity. Increasing intensity is termed crescendo and decreasing intensity is called decrescendo. Crescendo-decrescendo describes sounds that increase then immediate decrease in intensity. This is also termed diamond shaped. Rectangular heart murmurs are of constant intensity.
Heart Murmur Tone
Heart murmur sounds may have musical qualities that may be called harsh, musical, sharp, dull, blowing or booming.