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Article
June 1922

THE NATURE OF THE SO-CALLED "CAPILLARY PULSE"

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Medical Division of the Montefiore Hospital for Chronic Diseases.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1922;29(6):763-767. doi:10.1001/archinte.1922.00110060057004
Abstract

The "capillary pulse" has been of interest to clinicians ever since Quincke1 first called attention to it in 1868. Nothing, however, has been added to his original description of the condition, nor to his discussion of the probable mechanism by which it is brought about. Two observers before Quincke noted the phenomenon in isolated cases, but failed to appreciate the frequency of its occurrence or its significance. Lebert2 cites the case of a patient with an aortic aneurysm who exhibited systolic flushing and diastolic paling of the cheeks. Ascherson3 observed a child 7 years of age with varicella following scarlatina, in whom the papules and the bases of the vesicles reddened in diastole and paled in systole. This was very evident for four days, but after that it was only demonstrable when the skin about the lesion was stretched. Both authors attributed the phenomenon to a pulsation of the capillaries.

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