To analyse the ability of the non-specialized paediatrician to evaluate children with a heart murmur and the consequences of this evaluation for the need of further investigations, we undertook a prospective and consecutive study of 100 children, referred for initial evaluation of a heart murmur. Except for 1 child with a slight peripheral pulmonary artery stenosis, 53% of the children were correctly diagnosed as having no heart disease. In a project design where 47% of the children were referred for an echocardiographic study, no clinically significant heart disease was missed.
Clinical evaluation without laboratory tests performed by paediatricians without any special training in cardiology could correctly acquit 50% of the children of heart disease, with no need for further investigation.
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