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Spectral Analysis of Heart Sounds in Children

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Spectral analysis of the first and second heart sound in 69 normal children varying in age from newborn to eighteen years was done to determine the normal relationship between intensity of sound (measured in decibels) with the frequency octave. The frequency octaves used had center frequencies of 31.5, 63, 125 and 250 Hz. With these normal values established, 12 children with primary cardiomyopathies were studied with spectral phonocardiography to determine if various pathologies are reflected in changes in the frequency contents of the heart sounds. Preliminary evidence in adults, formulated by others, and now in children, compiled by us, indicates that the heart sounds are indeed quite effected by the mass and elasticity of the oscillating ventricles. As this technique is refined in the future, the diagnostic value in a modern clinical setting of spectral analysis may even be overshadowed by the value of using spectral techniques as part of mass screening programs for the detection of heart disease in children and hence the early treatment of as yet undiagnosed pathology.

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