Article Text


Pathological validation of auscultation of the elderly heart.
  1. M. J. Denham,
  2. A. Pomerance,
  3. H. M. Hodkinson


    Systolic murmurs present in 129 geriatric patients followed to post-mortem were assessed as mitral or aortic in origin by simple clinical assessment alone. Post-mortem examination contradicted clinical findings in only 2% of cases. Mitral valve pathology, mostly post-inflammatory scarring or mucoid degeneration, was present in 50% of the cases with murmurs. There was a significant correlation between the presence of murmurs, particularly mitral murmurs, and congestive cardiac failure, and there was also a significant correlation with age. A tendency for aortic systolic murmurs to be associated with a higher mean systolic blood pressure was not significant and there was no significant association between systolic murmurs and ischaemic heart disease.

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