December 11, 1967

The Innocent Murmur: A Problem in Clinical Practice

Author Affiliations



edited by Cesar A. Caceres and Lowell W. Perry, 300 pp, 32 illus, $13.50, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1967.

JAMA. 1967;202(11):1059. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130240101033

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Combining an edited transcript of panel discussions with an extensive review of the literature, this book on innocent murmurs is a juxtaposition of the didactic and the discursive. So precipitous at times is the transition from the traditional presentation to the almost audible tape recording, that one must adjust to it as if to another medium. Is this the shape of books to come?

As if to atone for textbook neglect of this subject, 27 leading experts in cardiology discuss in great (sometimes excessive) detail the diagnostic and management aspects of innocent murmurs, as well as their underlying acoustic principles, physiologic mechanisms, and methods of recording. They pay particular attention to Still's "twanging string" murmur, noted for its prevalence, and to late systolic murmurs recently stripped of their innocence. In their zeal for comprehensiveness they include such redundancies as the incidence of mammary souffle in Bantu women post partum, or