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The apex cardiac beat: not a reliable clinical sign in elderly patients

Mulkerrin, E., Saran, R., Dewar, R., Harding, J. R., Bayer, Antony James and Finucane, P. 1991. The apex cardiac beat: not a reliable clinical sign in elderly patients. Age and Ageing 20 (4) , pp. 304-306. 10.1093/ageing/20.4.304

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Abstract

To assess its reliability as a marker of cardiomegaly in elderly patients, we compared a clinical assessment of heart size with that calculated from chest radiography. In 100 hospitalized subjects of median age 78 years, the apex beat was palpable in only 35% and its palpability declined with increasing age. Even when palpable, the apex beat had low specificity (74%) and sensitivity (69%) as a marker of cardiomegaly and its positive predictive value (69%) and negative predictive value (74%) were poor. The clinical assessment of heart size in elderly hospitalized patients should be interpreted with caution.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0002-0729
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:14
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/50012

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