The Arterial Pulse

The arterial pulse is as any periodic fluctuation that is caused by the heart and occurs at the same frequency as the heartbeat. Ejection of blood with every cardiac contraction is converted to flow pulsations, pressure pulsations, and dimension pulsations in arteries throughout the body. While the term pulse refers to any such pulsation, the arterial pulse perceived by a clinician is the pressure pulse in a large, accessible artery. Palpation of the arterial pulse is a basic and important element of the physical examination.162-166 Any discussion of the arterial pulse must include recent advances in measurement of arterial hemodynamics, assessment of the arterial wave contour, and frequency analysis of the pressure pulse.162-170

Physical Determinants of the Arterial Pulse

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