The Goals of Auscultation

The goals at the end of auscultation are to be able to describe the following:

The intensity of S1 in all areas

• The intensity of S2 in all areas

• The characterization of any systolic sounds

• The characterization of any diastolic sounds

With experience, the examiner is able to listen to all parts of the cardiac cycle in one area and compare the sounds and events with those of other areas. Normally, Si is loudest at the apex, and S2 is loudest at the base. Splitting of S2 into A2 and P2 during inspiration is best heard at the pulmonic area with the patient lying on his or her back. This increases venous return and widens the A2-P2 split.

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