Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Heart murmurs mnemonic

Hello people with a pumping heart in their chests, obviously! <3

In this post, I'll be taking about the few mnemonics I use in relationship to murmurs.
"PASS" is a good mnemonic for remembering that pulmonic and aortic stenosis give a systolic murmur.

The opposite of PASS, ie, other two valves and the other defect gives a systolic murmur too. (Mitral and tricuspid regurgitation gives a systolic murmur!)

VSD has a S so that's systolic.

Now, the other ones - pulmonic and aortic regurgitation, mitral and tricuspid stenosis will cause diastolic murmurs :)

Here's another mnemonic submitted by one of the readers:

For the systolic murmurs: MR. P.V. TRAPSS (Mister Per Vaginum traps? :P)
MR. P. - Mitral Regurgitation or Prolapse
V. - VSD
TR - tricuspid regurg
APS - Aortic or Pulmonary Stenosis
S - Systolic

For the diastolic murmurs: MS. PAID
MS - Mitral Stenosis
PAI - Pulmonary or Aortic Insufficiency
D - Diastolic

Here are a few more lame mnemonics I made when I was in final year! =)

I remember GDP or Gross Domestic PRoduct.
Graham Steel murmur is a Diastolic murmur associated with Pulmonary Regurgitation.
Alternatively you can remember, Graham SED PR (Graham said per rectum? xD) 
For Graham Steel, Early Diastolic, Pulmonary Regurgitation.

Carrey Coombs murmur is seen in rheumatic carditis.
"RCCC (Renal cell carcinoma) is diagnosed by MD and MS", is my mnemonic.
Rheumatic carditis, Carrey Coombs, Mid diastolic, Mitral Stenosis.

Austin flint murmur is seen in aortic regurgitation.
"AFAR MD" helps me remember Austin Flint, aortic regurgitation and Mid Diastolic.

Carvallo murmur is seen in tricuspid regurgitation.
"TRy CAR" (Submitted by Tushar)

I am actually not a fan of using mnemonics for concepts like murmurs. But once, I was asked to name systolic murmurs in a viva. And you know how vivas are, if you don't answer quickly, another question is thrown at you. Luckily, I remembered this mnemonic that day and could answer quickly. That's when I realized, it's okay (It's awesome, actually!) to understand all the murmur mechanisms properly when you have time to imagine at home and it's definitely okay to use mnemonics cheaply when you don't have time to think, that is, in time bound exams.

That's all!

Lub dub goes my heart...


Credit for the PASS mnemonic goes to my USMLE study partner, Akshay. Thanks man, you saved my anxious heart in that particular viva! xD


  1. Isn't pansystolic murmurs for mitral/tricuspid regurgitation? Aortic and pulmonic murmurs are crescendo decrescendo murmurs.

  2. just remember that all named murmurs are diastolic murmurs

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Exception to: named murmur are usually diastolic
      Carvallo’s and still’s murmur (in children) are Systolic murmurs..hope this will help in mcq


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