Thursday, November 20, 2014

Types of pulse mnemonic

Hey there.
In this post, I'll be mumbling about the character or quality of various types of pulse seen in medical physical examination. Since this is a super long post, let's get started -

Low amplitude, small weak pulse is called pulsus parvus.
Parvus has a P and so does amPlitude.
I said, "Parvus is amplitude luss." over and over again till I got it memorized xD

Pulsus tardus is a slow rising pulse with a delayed systolic peak.
Mnemonic: tarDuS - Delayed Systolic peak.
Memorization mantra, "Tardus is retardus. Retarded is slow. Slow rising pulse with delayed systolic peak." (Sing it with a retarded voice!) 

Pulsus parvus et tardus. Merge the above two!

Anacrotic pulse is a variant of pulsus parvus et tardus, in which a notch is palpable in the upstroke of the pulse wave.
"Anacrotic A-notch-ic pulse."

Bisferiens pulse and Dicrotic pulse.
(Study bi and di together!)

Bisferiens has double peaks, both in systole.
Dicrotic has two palpable waves, one is systole, one in diastole.

biSferienS has two S's.
So Bisferiens pulse has two systolic peaks.

DicroticS has a D and a S.
So Dicrotic pulse has two peaks, one in systole, other in diastole.

Pulsus Alternans and Pulsus Bigeminus.
(Study A and B together!)

Pulsus Alternans is a pattern in which there is a regular alteration of pulse pressure amplitude despite regular rhythm.

In Pulsus Bigeminus there is also a regular alteration in pulse pressure amplitude but it is caused by premature ventricular contraction that follows each regular beat.

Alternans has a R for being Regular rhythm.
Bigeminus has an I for being Irregular rhythm.

Now that you are done with learning what they are, start learning conditions they are seen in. Need help? Okay!

Pulsus parvus is obviously seen in conditions with less left ventricular volume.

tArduS is seen in Aortic Stenosis.

pArvuS et tArduS is also seen in Aortic Stenosis.

biSfeRiens is seen in Aortic Stenosis and Regurgitation.

DiCroTiC is seen in Dilated Cardiomyopathy and dehydration, Tamponade and Cardiac failure.

ALternans is seen in Acute Left ventricular failure.

Bigeminus is seen in Ectopic beats, as previously mentioned.

Pulsus Paradoxus is seen in -
Mnemonic: CPR
Cardiac tamponade
COPD (severe)
Constrictive pericarditis
Pneumothorax (tension pneumothorax)
Pericardial effusion (rare)
Restrictive cardiomyopathy

That's all!
I find Pulsus Paradoxus the coolest. Maybe because I am into paradoxes and Doctor Who.


  1. Nicely explained.
    Imp topic for all.
    A must for practs.

    1. I went through your allll mnemonics in a dayyy..
      Wish all your dreams n prayers come true..
      Happy diwali...

    2. Haha really? Wouldn't it be super tough to remember the mnemonics?

      Thank you and same to you!

  2. Very useful. The best part is we dont have to remember another mnemonic for memorizing these otherwise often mnemonics get mismatch in brain. So ur mnemonic's method of just staring at the word & wait for the word to introduce itself is really really awesome. Thanks a lot.
    And also the ones in Aortic regurigation were just lovely & i too was tempted to see the dancing carotids��.


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