Patient Information

Innocent PPS Murmur

People often worry when they hear that their child has a heart murmur.  Happily, most heart murmurs in children are perfectly normal.  One such murmur is the “PPS" murmur of infancy.

What Causes It? 
"PPS" stands for "peripheral pulmonary stenosis", which sounds terrible, but this murmur is actually normal.  In newborn babies the arteries that lead to the lungs (branch pulmonary arteries) are typically somewhat small.  When the blood gets pumped from the large artery leaving the heart and enters these smaller pulmonary arteries, there is very often some turbulence and the blood makes a whooshing noise similar that that of water going through a bend in a garden hose.

Who has them? 
This murmur is typical or newborns, and gradually resolves over the first year or so of life as the pulmonary arteries grow.  

What does it mean? 
It is very important to understand that the innocent PPS murmur is perfectly normal.  It does not suggest any type of heart disorder.  Children with a PPS murmur do not require special medical treatment when they go to the dentist or have other medical procedures.  In fact, it is perfectly fine not to mention this murmur when one is filling out various sorts of health forms.  Often, a child with a PPS murmur will be asked to return to the cardiologist for another listen at about a year of age to be sure the murmur has resolved as it should. 

What do I tell the grandparents?
An accurate description of a PPS murmur is to say that your child has a normal heart that is making an extra noise that is very common in newborns.  

Web Links 
Here are some Internet links that might be helpful.  They look pretty good, but I cannot vouch for their accuracy or quality.  As always with the Internet, browser beware!

American Heart Association: Innocent Murmurs
http://www.americanheart.org/Heart_and_Stroke_A_Z_Guide/imurm.html

American Academy of Family Physicians - Heart Murmurs in Children--What Parents Should Know  
http://www.aafp.org/afp/990800ap/990800f.html

iVillage: Are Infant Heart Murmurs Common?  
http://www.homearts.com/depts/health/38docs31.htm

The Nemours Foundation:  Heart Murmurs  
http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/heart/murmurs.html