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Auscultation

There are different places on the chest where different aspects of different heart sounds can best be heard. There are four named areas which are illustrated below. Note: the best place to hear a particular heart valve is not necessarily over its anatomical site.

where to auscultate.jpg

When auscultating the heart S1 and S2 are best heard in the following places:

where to auscultate s1 and s2.jpg

Now listen to the following sound of a normal heart. The sound file is visualised and annotated to help understand what was explained above.

Remember that 'normal' covers a wide range of slightly different sounding hearts so get listening to as many healthy hearts as you can- you will not be able to hear what is abnormal unless you really have a grasp of 'normal'.