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Ventricular filling sounds

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

These sounds are of much lower frequency than the valve sounds and may be difficult to hear.

They are best heard with the bell gently applied to the chest and are described as a dull thud becoming palpable when loud.

Ventricular filling sounds include:

  • rapid filling (third) - left ventricle and right ventricle
  • atrial (fourth) - right ventricle and left ventricle

The third sound is normally audible in children, with the intensity diminishing with age. The third heart sound becomes inaudible (but recordable) in normal subjects in middle age with increasing ventricular stiffness.

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