Saturday, July 30, 2016


Aortic Valve Replacement

1. Wash hand, introduce, consent

2. General inspection. Expose - median sternotomy scar. Breathless at rest? Corrigans? (so as to look hard for collapsing pulse later)

3. "Can I look at your hands please?" Peripheral stigmata of IE 

4. "Just going to feel for your pulse". Rate, regular/irregular, volume. Check the other side for radial radial delay. Check brachial pulse as well.

5. "Do you have any pain in the shoulder? Ok, I am going to lift it up above your head". Looking for collapsing pulse.

6. "Could you turn slightly to the left, just going to check the neck". Looking at JVP and carotids. Feel for the carotids. 

7. "Could you look up for me, just going to check your eye, and look down?" Check for anemia and jaundice.

8. "Could you open your mouth for me and stick out your tongue" - look using torch. Check dentition and central cyanosis.

9. "Just going to examine your chest now". Look hard for other scar - mid sternotomy scar, valvutomy scar, palpate for pacemaker.

10. "I am going to feel for your heart beat". Palpate for apex beat, then parasternal heaves and any thrills. Count ribs. Displaced - likely AR, undisplaced 5th intercostal space, midclavicular line - likely AS. 

11. "Just going to have a listen and feel the neck at the same time". Apex - diaphragm - check for S1 and S2 (look hard for prosthetic click - time with the carotids) Bell. LLSE - diaphragm. LUSE - diaphragm. Listen hard for Early Diastolic Murmur !! then RUSE - diaphragm. Likely to have a ESM at aortic area.

12. "I am going to listen to the neck, could you take a deep breath and hold it" - radiation for ESM to the carotids

13. Could you sit up for me, lean forward, and big breath in and out and hold it for a second? - listen hard to EDM again!

14. Listen to lungs, and check for pedal oedema.

15. look for bruises, and harvesting vein at the legs and radial.

16. Thank the patient, cover him up and wash hand.


. I would like to complete my examination by taking the BP of the patient, looking at his temperature chart and do a urine dipstick.

Mr X had undergone an aortic valve replacement for, most likely AS. 

There is no peripheral stigmata of IE. His pulse is 70 beats per minute, regular and normal volume. There is no collapsing pulse. JVP is not raised, and there is no conjunctiva pallor or jaundice.

On my examination of the praecordium, there is a midline sternotomy scar. Apex beat is not displaced. There is a normal first heart sound and a prosthetic click coincide with second heart sound. There is an ejection systolic murmur loudest at the aortic region, but no radiation to the carotids. I would grade it 3/6 with no palpable thrills. There is no early diastolic murmur or collapsing pulse to suggest valve failure, and lungs is clear with no pedal oedema to suggest cardiac failure.

In summary, this patient had an aortic valve replacement, most likely for AS secondary to degenerative calcifications or chronic rheumatic heart disease. There is no clinical evidence of valvular leakage, thrombosis or hemolytic anemia. There is also no signs of pulmonary hypertension or cardiac failure. There is no sign of IE or overanticoagulation

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