Pulse - bounding

  • Definition
    • A bounding pulse is a strong throbbing felt over one of the arteries in the body. It is due to a forceful heartbeat.

  • Alternative Names
    • Bounding pulse

  • 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 (hyperthyroidism)
  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • Call your health care provider if the intensity or rate of your pulse increases suddenly and does not go away. This is very important when:

      • You have other symptoms along with increased pulse.
      • The change in your pulse does not go away when you rest for a few minutes.
      • You already have been diagnosed with a heart problem.
      Taking your carotid pulse
  • What to Expect at Your Office Visit
    • Your provider will do a physical exam that includes checking your temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure. Your heart and circulation will also be checked.

      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 always present, or does it come and go?
      • Does it only happen along with other symptoms, such as palpitations? What other symptoms do you have?
      • Does it get better if you rest?
      • Are you pregnant?
      • Have you had a fever?
      • Have you been very anxious or stressed?
      • Do you have other heart problems, such as heart valve disease, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure?
      • Do you have kidney failure?

      The following diagnostic tests may be performed:

  • References
    • Fang JC, O'Gara PT. The history and physical examination. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 11.

      Goldman L. Approach to the patient with possible cardiovascular disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 51.