STEVEN D. EILEN, M.D.; MICHAEL H. CRAWFORD, M.D.; ROBERT A. O'ROURKE, M.D.
Objective data on the reliability of precordial palpation in detecting left ventricular enlargement are scarce. Therefore, we evaluated 41 patients by physical examination and two-dimensional echocardiography to determine the relation between the location of the apex and left ventricular end-diastolic volume. An apical impulse lateral to the mid-clavicular line or greater than 10 cm from the mid-sternal line was sensitive but not specific as an indicator of left ventricular enlargement. In patients without left ventricular hypertrophy, an apical diameter greater than 3 cm in the left lateral decubitus was sensitive (92%) and specific (91%) for an enlarged left ventricle. The positive and negative predictive values were 86% and 95% respectively. Therefore, the location of the apical impulse in relation to the mid-clavicular line or the mid-sternal line is not a reliable indicator of increased left ventricular end-diastolic volume. However, an apical impulse greater than 3 cm may be an accurate indicator of left ventricular enlargement.
STEVEN D. EILEN, MICHAEL H. CRAWFORD, ROBERT A. O'ROURKE. Accuracy of Precordial Palpation for Detecting Increased Left Ventricular Volume. Ann Intern Med. 1983;99:628–630. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-99-5-628
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1983;99(5):628-630.
Cardiac Diagnosis and Imaging, Cardiology.
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