Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Heart: auscultation

Contributor(s): Christopher Brown, Wendy Furness, Lesley Young

Introduction

  • The most important part of the cardiac examination   Heart: examination - overview  providing information about cardiac cycle function and rhythm.
  • Careful use of this technique should always be employed, before other diagnostic aids are used.
  • Should be done as part of a routine clinical examination, as part of the diagnostic workup in suspected cardiac disease, as part of a pre-purchase or pre-anesthetic evaluation.

Uses

Advantages

  • Reveals a lot of information.
  • Cheap.
  • No specialist equipment required, apart from a stethoscope.

Disadvantages

  • Some murmurs may be very quiet and therefore difficult to hear.
  • Some murmurs and arrhythmias are variable therefore consistent results may not be obtained.
  • Small movements and minor noises can significantly affect auscultation, therefore a noisy environment or a difficult patient makes examination difficult.
  • The results of the examination cannot be stored easily for interpretation later or by a third party.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Fregin G F (1992) Medical evaluation of the cardiovascular system. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 8 (2), 329-346 PubMed.
  • Reef V B (1985) Evaluation of the equine cardiovascular system. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 1 (2), 275-288 PubMed.
  • Gerring E L (1984) Clinical examination of the equine heart. Equine Vet J 16 (6), 552-555 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Durando M M & Young L E (2000) Cardiovascular Examination and techniques. In:Current Therapy in Equine Medicine. Ed: Robinson N E. W B Saunders, USA. pp 572-584.


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