What is the diagnostic value of auscultating the heart?
Auscultating the heart can provide information such as the heart’s rate, whether the rhythm is regular or irregular as well as whether the heart sounds sound normal. Auscultation can help detect things such as heart murmurs, ejection clicks and mitral valve prolapse.
With the rapid progress in diagnostic methods that has taken place during the past few decades in the solution of cardiac problems, there has developed an increasing degree of complexity in the technic employed by the physician. In many cases he no longer can make the proper decision on the basis of his five senses and what he carries in his simple medical kit. Elaborate instruments or tests have become necessary to solve many of the problems. Various blood tests, metabolic studies, electrocardiography, roentgenography, angiocardiography, venous catheterization of the heart and other examinations are necessary in one instance or another before the correct diagnosis can be established. These great advances that have been taking place so rapidly have not been purely of academic interest. They are absolutely essential and have enabled physicians by the application of new therapeutic procedures, medical or surgical, to treat effectively and at times to cure.