Suprasternal Notch - Evaluative Tests Using The Suprasternal Notch

Evaluative Tests Using The Suprasternal Notch

Intrathoracic pressure is measured by using a transducer held in such a way over the body that an actuator engages the soft tissue that is located above the suprasternal notch.

Arcot J. Chandrasekhar, MD of Loyola University, Chicago, is the author of an evaluative test for the aorta using the suprasternal notch. The test can help to recognise the following conditions:

  • Aneurysm
  • Dissecting aneurysm
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension

To carry out this test it is necessary to place an index finger or middle finger on the notch and palpate it. In a young normal person there should be no palpable pulse. A prominent pulse may be indicative of an uncoiled aorta, arch aneurysm, or a tortuous blood vessel. The most likely cause of a suprasternal pulse in an adult is an aortic arch aneurysm, while the most likely cause in a child is coarctation of the aorta.

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