Beck's triad (cardiology)

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Beck's triad is comprised of fall in the systolic pressure, rising jugular venous pressure and suppressed heart sounds. These findings are typical of cardiac tamponade.

1: The rising jugular venous pressure is evidenced by distended jugular veins while in a non-supine position. It is caused by reduced diastolic filling of the right ventricle, due to the outside pressure being exerted on it by the expanding pericardial sac. This results of a backup of fluid into the veins draining into the heart, most notably, the jugulars. In severe hypovolemia, the neck veins may NOT be distended.

2: The fall in systolic pressure results when the fluid in the pericardial cavity accumulates to a degree that it impairs ventricular stretch, thus reducing stroke volume and cardiac output.

3: The suppressed heart sounds occur due to the muffling effects of the sounds passing through the fluid surrounding the heart.

Associated persons: Claude Schaeffer Beck Template:Med-sign-stub