arterial pulse (amplitude, large)
In this wave form the upstroke is abrupt and steeper than normal. The peak of the wave form is reached earlier than normal and there is a rapid downstroke. The amplitude of the wave form is abnormally wide.
- with the patient reclining, the examiner raises the patient's arm vertically
upwards. The examiner grasps the muscular part of the patient's forearm. A
waterhammer pulse is felt as a tapping impulse which is transmitted through
the bulk of the muscles
- a waterhammer was a Victorian toy in which a tube was half filled with fluid, the remainder being a vacuum. The child would invert and reinvert the tube; each time the impact of the fluid at each end would sound like a hammer blow
- Kirby B (1993). Clinical examination of the heart. Medicine International, 21(8), 294-99.
Last reviewed 01/2018