Fast Five Quiz: Heart Failure Presentation and Diagnosis

Yasmine S. Ali, MD


December 02, 2021

On physical exam, the earliest cardiac finding of decompensated heart failure is an S3 gallop. The presence of an S3 heart sound on auscultation, which indicates the sudden down-flow of blood from the mitral valve against a compliant LV wall, is an indication of decompensation in patients with heart failure.

Pericardial friction rub on physical exam is a sign of pericarditis.

Distant heart sounds on physical exam are a sign of pericardial effusion.

Mitral regurgitation is a systolic murmur. Mitral and tricuspid regurgitation murmurs are often present in patients with decompensated heart failure because of ventricular dilatation. These murmurs frequently vanish or diminish when compensation is restored.

Learn more about physical exam findings associated with heart failure.


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