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Renal Exam

Carotid Pulsation

November 28th, 2019
On this page:ContourAmplitude


  • 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
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