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Flashcards in Cardiovascular Examination Deck (13)
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symptoms to be aware of

• shortness of breath
• claudication
• syncope/near syncope
• weakness/fatigue
• diaphoresis
• nausea/vomiting


what is angina

Discomfort anywhere above the umbilicus
brought on by physical exertion or
emotional stress and relieved by rest or


It is likely to be angina if:

relieved by rest or nitroglycerin
• of relatively short duration
• accompanied by associated symptoms
• made worse with exercise or activity
• discomfort that comes on at a predictable


physical exam inspection

general appearance
• facial characteristics
• evaluation of the neck
• evaluation of the chest
• cough
• appearance of extremities


normal hart sounds

S1- lub
closure of the mitral and tricuspid valves
S2- dub
closure of aortic and pulmonic valves


abnormal heart sounds

• Poor ventricular compliance and turbulence
• Low frequency sound in early diastole
exaggerated atrial contraction and turbulence
low frequency sound in late diastole


peripheral vascular exam includes

• skin color, size, and shape of extremity
• presence of edema - girth measurements
• trophic changes - hair, skin, nails
• ulcerations, varicosities


arterial insufficiency characteristics

• claudication/pain at rest
• diminished pulses
• pale color
• cool skin
• no or mild edema
• trophic changes
• ulcers on toes
• gangrene may occur


venous insufficiency characteristics

no pain, maybe aching
• normal pulse
• normal or cyanotic color
• normal temperature
• marked edema
• may have thick skin, brown
• ulcers usually on ankles
• gangrene does not occur


Buergers test

position patient in supine
• elevate leg to 60 degrees for 60 seconds
• grade time to develop pallor
• 0=no pallor
• 1 = some pallor at 60 sec
• 2 = pallor after 30-60 sec,
• 3 = pallor after less than 30 sec
• 4 = pallor without elevation
• have patient sit up and flex knees over edge of table
• venous refill with dependency - veins should bulge outward within 30 seconds
• confirms arterial disease if longer


in a supine to standing test what should happen to the DBP

it should increase in standing with a maintenance of SBP

an abnormal response would be for DBP to decrease in standing which could indicate a failing pump


what is pulsus alternans

• Palpation of femoral or radial artery
• Breath held in mid-expiration
• Positive finding is alternating strong and
weak pulse beats
• Indicates depressed myocardial function,


what is pulsus paradoxus

a greater than 10 mmHg decrease in SBP during insporation; could be a sign of cardiac tamponade, constrictive
pericarditis, restrictive cardiomyopathy