Carotid Pulsation | Diabetic Exam - MedSchool
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Diabetic Exam

Carotid Pulsation



    • How to Assess

    • Palpate the common carotid arteries, located in the anterior neck medial to the sternocleidomastoid. Palpate the arteries one at a time. Care should be taken to avoid stimulating the carotid sinus.


  • Rapid rate of risePremature ventricular contraction, mitral regurg, VSD, aortic regurgitation, HOCM
  • Slow rate of rise Aortic stenosis
  • Bisferiens pulse (double beating pulse)Aortic regurgitation


  • Bounding pulse - strong, sustainedHypertension, hypermetabolic states
  • Waterhammer / collapsing pulse: strong pulse with sudden collapse.Aortic regurgitation, patent ductus arteriosus
  • Pulsus tardis & parvis: weak pulse with a delayed systolic peakAortic stenosis
  • Pulsus alternans: regular alternation between strong and weak beatsLeft ventricular failure
Last updated on November 28th, 2019