V wave

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


The ‘v’ wave is seen when the tricuspid valve is closed, just before ventricular contraction – with and just after the carotid pulse. The ‘v’ wave represents the gradual build-up of blood in the atria while the AV valves are closed during ventricular contraction.

See the main page on JVP waveforms for more details.

a = atrial contraction, occurs just before 1st heart sound and carotid pulse x = atrial relaxation c = bulging of tricuspid valve during isovolumetric contraction; x 1 = occurs during ventricular contraction pulling down the tricuspid valve “descent of the base”; v = occurs during venous filling of the atrium with a closed tricuspid valve\; y = opening of tricuspid valve and right atrium emptying

Abnormalities in the JVP Waveforms

Absence of a wave Atrial fibrillation
Flutter of a wave Atrial flutter
Prominent a waves First-degree atrioventricular block
Large a waves Tricuspid stenosis, right atrial myxoma, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary stenosis
Absent x descent Tricuspid regurgitation
Prominent x descent Conditions associated with large a waves
Slow y descent Tricuspid stenosis, right atrial myxoma
Rapid y descent Constrictive pericarditis, severe right heart failure, tricuspid regurgitation, atrial septal defect
Absent y descent Cardiac tamponade