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Pulse - bounding

A bounding pulse is a strong and forceful pulse.

Alternative Names

Bounding pulse

Common Causes

A bounding pulse and rapid heart rate both occur in the following conditions or events:

  • Abnormal or rapid heart rhythms
  • Anemia
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve problem called aortic regurgitation
  • Heavy exercise
  • Fever
  • Pregnancy, because of increased fluid and blood in the body
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidisim)

Call your health care provider if

Call your health care provider if you experience a sudden, severe, or persistent increase in the intensity or rate of your pulse. This is particularly important when this increase is accompanied by other symptoms, or when it is not relieved by resting for a few minutes.

Taking your carotid pulse

What to expect at your health care provider's office

Your health care provider will perform a physical examination that includes checking your temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure. Your heart and circulation will also be examined.

Your provider will ask questions such as:

  • Is this the first time you have felt a bounding pulse?
  • Did it develop suddenly or gradually?
  • Is it present continuously, or only from time to time?
  • Does it get better if you rest?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
  • Does it only happen along with other symptoms, such as palpitations?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Have you had a fever?
  • Have you been very anxious or stressed?
  • Do you have high blood pressure or congestive heart failure?
  • Do you have kidney failure?
  • Do you have heart valve disease?

The following diagnostic tests may be performed:

References

Goldman L. Approach to the patient with possible cardiovascular disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24thed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 50.

Updated: 6/3/2012

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.


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