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Heart Sounds Auscultation

Review date: May 14, 2009
Date of online release: July 1, 2006
Credits: None


“You only see what you look for.” In the physical examination of the heart, the adage becomes “You only hear what you listen for.” A very experienced clinician may listen to a polyglot of noises, compare them to an internal matrix, and make a correct diagnosis with, “that sounds like….” For those of us who are mere mortals, proper auscultation requires that we listen carefully and thoughtfully to one thing at a time. We must seek out normal and abnormal sounds and murmurs rather than waiting for them to announce themselves.

View course materials. (Use headphones for best audio quality.)

James M. Wilson, MD  

James M. Wilson MD
Director, Cardiology Education
Texas Heart Institute
Houston, Texas

 Funding for this presentation was provided by St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital

Additional Resources


La auscultación de los ruidos cardíacos
Spanish version of "Heart Sounds Auscultation" presentation.

Heart Sounds Podcast Series
Auscultation of heart sounds as they relate to the anatomy, physiology, and diagnosis of cardiovascular disease.


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