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Physician palpating the precordium to assess for the presence of a heave or lift.
Image courtesy of Charlie Goldberg, M.D., UCSD School of Medicine and VA Medical Center, San Diego, California

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List of terms related to Heave

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

Synonyms and Keywords: lift, parasternal heave, parasternal lift, left ventricular impulse, LV impulse


A heave is felt as an upward displacement of the chest against the hand during palpation of the precordium. Heaves are best felt with the heel of the hand at the sternal border.

Physical Examination

For more detailed information regarding the physical examination of the precordium, please consult the chapter on palpation of the precordium.


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