Cvs Examination & Physiological Changes in Cvs System During Pregnancy

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“CVS Examination & Physiological Changes in CVS System During PREGNANCY”

General Examination


Apprehensive facies produced by pain, anxiety and respiratory distress (MI, angina, PE, arrhythmias as VT, fast AF)

A )   Skin Color and Texture

Malar flush: long-standing MS,

Brick red color of polycethemia  (may cause HTN, thrombosis, MI)
Central cyanosis (right to left intracardiac shunt or lung disease.

B ) Eyes and Lids

Xanthelasma (hypercholesterolemia, DM)

Lid edema (myxedema, nephrotic syndrome, SVC syndrome…)

Exophthalmos, lid retraction in thyrotoxicosis (A.F, high output failure)

Corneal arcus in young people indicates severe hypercholesterolemia.

C )  Bony Developmental Abnormality

Marfan syndrome (with long narrow face,lens sublaxation, long arm, arachnodactyly) (AR,aortic dissection, MVP)

Williams syndrome (small elf-like forehead,turned up nose, egg shaped teeth, low set      ears)
Noonan’s sydrome (widely set eyes, webneck) associated with PS

D )  Hands

Tremor may indicate thyrotoxicosis (AF, CHF)

Clubbing of the fingers (cardiac cause: CHD, IE)

Capillary pulsation (AR, thyrotoxicosis, pregnancy)

Splinter hemorrhage (IE , acute GN)

Osler’s nodes (0.5-1 cm painful reddish-brown subcutaneous papules occur on the tip of the fingers or toes, palm of the hand, planter aspect of the feet (IE)


Is not apparent till Hb < 5g/dl (central)

In CHD cyanosis is observed if R to L  shunt is > 25% of CO and not improved by 100% of O2

Good examination of tongue, lips, earlobes, fingers, toes is recommended


1. Collapsing pulse (water hammer pulse) jerky pulse with full expansion followed by sudden collapse (AR, PDA, A-V
fistulas, pregnancy, paget’s disease, thyrotoxicosis, anemia)
2. Alternating pulse pulses alternans (regular rate, amplitude
varies from beat to beat) seen in LVF
3. Pulses bisferiens (two strong systolic peaks separated by a
midsystolic dip) seen in HOCM, AS/AI
4. Anacrotic pulse slow rising pulse in A.S. (Parvus et tardus)
5. Dicrotic pulse, two systolic and diastolic peaks (sepsis,
hypovolemic, cardiogenic shock)
6. Paradoxic pulse (amplitude decreases with inspiration and
increases during expiration) seen in cardiac tamponade,
COPD, massive P.E.


The Normal JVP consist of 3 +ve pulse waves (a,c and v) and 2 –ve pulse wave (x and y)

Normal JVP

A — Atrial systole  –Coincide with 4th H.S.
X — Atrial relaxation
C — Bulging of TV into RA during V systole — begins at the end of 1st H.S.
V — filling of RA while TV is closed
Y — Decline in RA pressure when TV opens– corresponds with 3rd H.S.
X´– descent: systolic
Y — descent: diastolic

A wave

 a) Absent in AF
 b) Diminished in:-    i)Tachycardia
                                  ii) Increased PR Interval
c) Large a waves:-    i) TS
                                 ii) PS
                                 iii) Pulm. HTN  
d) Canon a waves  Complete ht block.

Elevated JVP

a)  RVF
b)  Cardiac tamponade
c)  TS
d)  SVC  obst.
e)  Hyperkinetic Circulatory state
f)  Increased bld. Vol.



a) Patient should be examined in the supine, sitting, and left lateral decubitus position.
b) Normal apex beat is palpable as brief outward impulse
   (intersection of left mid clavicular line and 5th   ICS)
c) Apex beat > 2cm indicate LV enlargement.
d) Double apical impulse caused by LVH and forceful LA contraction.


a)  Best appreciated by the distal palm or with the finger tip.
b)  Palpable anterior systolic movement sustained up to S2 indicate RVH.
c)  Giant presystolic lift seen in HCM.


a)  Abdominal aorta (aneurysm)
b)  Liver (hepatomegaly, pulsatile liver)
c)  Ascitis

4. Diastolic shock

 Palpable S2

5. Thrill

a) Palpable murmur
b) Definite evidence of presence of organic ht ds.


Grading of intensity of murmurs:

Grade I    – So faint and heard only with special effort

Grade II   – Soft but readily detected

Grade III  – Prominent but not loud

Grade IV – Loud usually with palpable thrill

Grade V   – Very loud with thrill

Grade VI  – Heard without stethoscope on the chest wall

Classification of Murmurs: (Systolic, Diastolic and Continuous)

1.Systolic Murmur(SM)

a) Mid Systolic Ejection Murmur:

b) Pansystolic     MI, TI, VSD

c) Late Systolic   MVP, PS, HOCM.

2. Diastolic Murmurs:

a) Early Diastolic:
    Graham Steell’s Murmur

b) Mid Diastolic:
     Carey Coomb’s Murmur
     Austin Flint’s Murmur
     Flow Murmurs

c) Late Diastolic:
    Lt and Rt Atrial Myxona

 3. Continuous Murmurs

 Surgically Produced shunts in TOF
 Coarctation Aorta
 Venous Hum
 Mammary Souffle


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