Austin Flint murmur

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

In cardiology, an Austin Flint murmur is a low-pitched, mid to late diastolic rumbling murmur which is best heard at the cardiac apex. It is associated with severe aortic regurgitation.

Mechanism

Echocardiography, conventional and colour flow doppler ultrasound, and cine nuclear magnetic resonance (cine NMR) imaging suggest the murmur is the result of aortic regurgitant flow impingement on the inner surface of the heart, i.e. the endocardium.[1]

Classical description

Classically, it is described as being the result of mitral valve leaftlet displacement and turbulent mixing of antegrade mitral flow and retrograde aortic flow:[2]

  • The blood jets from the aortic regurgitation strike the anterior leaflet of the mitral valve, which often results in premature closure of the mitral leaflets.
  • Absence of both a loud S1 and an opening snap of the mitral valve helps in differentiating it from mitral stenosis.

Treatment

Aortic valve replacement may be necessary to correct the abnormality if symptomatic.

Eponym

It is named after the 19th century American physician Austin Flint (1812–1886).

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References

  1. Landzberg JS, Pflugfelder PW, Cassidy MM, Schiller NB, Higgins CB, Cheitlin MD (1992). "Etiology of the Austin Flint murmur". J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 20 (2): 408–13. PMID 1634679.
  2. Austin Flint murmur. gpnotebook.co.uk. URL: http://www.gpnotebook.co.uk/cache/-167378943.htm. Accessed on: June 4, 2007.



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