Research is being conducted to evaluate the accuracy of using an artificially-intelligent stethoscope to diagnosis heart conditions. If this instrument proves reliable, it may help physicians determine if heart murmurs in children may be caused by congenital heart disease and if further testing is required.

Other ongoing studies are focused on heart murmur causes. For example, some researchers are testing Lipitor, which is a medication that lowers cholesterol, to determine if this drug may help slow or stop calcification of the aortic heart valve in people who have a heart murmur caused by aortic stenosis.

In another study, researchers are looking at the possible connection between gene mutations and congenital heart defects. Scientists are learning more about prenatal heart development and are hoping to be able to diagnosis congenital heart defects before birth in the future.

Early surgery for endocarditis is also being studied. Researchers are trying to determine if prompt surgical treatment can improve the prognosis for patients with this condition.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 18 Nov 2008

Last Modified: 18 Sep 2015