The incidence and morphology of shudders in carotid arterial pulse tracings were examined in 73 patients with aortic valve disease documented by cardiac catheterization. Two forms of carotid shudder were recorded: coarse and fine. Shudders were present in 67 per cent of patients with aortic stenosis, 48 per cent of patients with aortic insufficiency, and 57 per cent of patients with mixed aortic stenosis and insufficiency. No significant difference existed among these three groups of patients with respect to the over-all incidence of carotid shudders or with respect to the incidence of coarse or fine shudders. In patients with aortic insufficiency, stroke volume index (Fick) and phonocardiographic systolic ejection murmur amplitude were significantly greater (p<0.01, p<0.001, respectively) in those with coarse carotid shudders compared with those manifesting fine or absent shudders. Loud, flowrelated, systolic ejection murmurs of aortic insufficiency are capable of producing radial vibrations in the aortic wall which are recorded as carotid shudders. The finding of a carotid shudder in a patient with aortic valve disease does not enable the physician to distinguish between stenosis, insufficiency, or mixed stenosis and insufficiency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine