Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cardiovascular Examination

We had another good case at the recently concluded MRCP PACES course conducted by IBC in Dubai.
The patient was a young child who looked small.
In a small child with a cardiovascular problem one should consider congenital heart disease or rheumatic heart disease (ACES for PACES page 178)
On examination of the pulse we noted sinus rhythm approximately 80 beats per minute, no abnormality in volume or character, all pulses equal and synchronous.
No abnormality in the head or neck.
On examination of the praecordium the apex appeared displaced and was thrusting in nature.
A thrusting apex suggests mitral regurgitation, aortic regurgitation or ventricular septal defect (ACES for PACES page 202)
The fact that the pulse was of normal volume and not collapsing would make aortic regurgitation unlikely.
The fact that the pulse was in sinus rhythm would make mitral valve disease unlikely.
As we were already suspecting congenital heart disease VSD would be very likely.
On further palpation of the praecordium, we felt a systolic thrill at the left sternal edge. This would fit in with our suspicion of VSD.
Auscultation confirmed a harsh pan systolic murmur at the left sternal edge with no radiation of the murmur confirming our diagnosis of VSD.
Lungs were clear
Ventricular Septal Defect
Sinus rhythm
No heart failure
No reversal of shunt