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It is well known that in most tracings from the peripheral arteries various secondary waves follow the principal or primary wave on the descending limb of the pulse. The chief of these is usually spoken of as the dicrotic wave ; and when this wave can be distinctly felt by the palpating finger on the radial artery, the pulse is described as dicrotic. The typical dicrotic pulse is relatively common in typhoid fever, but it occurs not infrequently in all types of infection. It is also occasionally encountered in other conditions, as, for example in cardiac patients with badly broken compensation. Marked instances of dicrotism are frequently but not invariably associated with low blood-pressure. On the other hand, equally low blood-pressures occur without marked dicrotism. In this as in many other conditions the relation between blood-pressure, whether systolic or diastolic, and pulse form is but a loose one.
HEWLETT AW. THE PULSE-FLOW IN THE BRACHIAL ARTERY: IV. REFLECTIONS OF THE PRIMARY WAVE IN DICROTIC AND MONOCROTIC PULSE-FORMS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1914;XIV(5):609–619. doi:10.1001/archinte.1914.00070170002001
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