Water hammer pulse

Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Definition
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Water hammer pulse = Pulsus celer et altus (from Latin: pulsus= blow, celer= fast, altus= high/large)

A pulsus celer et altus denotes a pulse finding which is very strong on palpation (altus) and at the same time has a high slope, i.e. quickly reaches the maximum (celer). The systolic blood pressure is high, whereas the diastolic blood pressure is low (e.g. RR 170/50 mmHg).

In the extreme form, a pulse-synchronous nodding of the head or a pulse-synchronous booming of the head can occur due to the high blood pressure amplitude.

  • Typical causes can be:
  • Aortic valve insufficiency
  • Persistent ductus arteriosus

Literature
This section has been translated automatically.

  1. Herold G et al (2018) Internal Medicine, Herold Verlag p. 177
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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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