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Pulse - bounding



A bounding pulse is a strong and forceful pulse.

See also: Heart palpitations

Alternative Names

Bounding pulse

Common Causes

A bounding pulse and rapid heart rate both occur in the following conditions or events:

  • Anxiety
  • Heavy exercise
  • Fever
  • Pregnancy
  • Overactivy thyroid

A bounding pulse can result from fluid overload due to heart failure, chronic kidney failure, and other conditions. It may also occur in aortic valve regurgitation.

Home Care

Call your health care provider if

Call your health care provider if you experience a sudden, severe, or persistent increase in the intensity or rate of your pulse. This is particularly important when this increase is accompanied by other symptoms, or when it is not relieved by resting for a few minutes.

What to expect at your health care provider's office

Your health care provider will perform a physical examination that includes checking your temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure. Your heart and circulation will also be examined.

Your provider will ask questions such as:

  • Is this the first time you have felt a bounding pulse?
  • Did it develop suddenly or gradually?
  • Is it present continuously, or only from time to time?
  • Does it get better if you rest?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
  • Does it only happen along with other symptoms, such as palpitations?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Have you had a fever?
  • Have you been very anxious or stressed?
  • Do you have high blood pressure or congestive heart failure?
  • Do you have kidney failure?
  • Do you have heart valve disease?

The following diagnostic tests may be performed:

  • A bounding pulse can often be seen in arteries that are close to the skin.
  • A bounding pulse may be a sign of excessive fluid in the circulation (fluid overload).
  • A rapid heart rate (tachycardia) and bounding pulse can occur together or separately.
  • A rapid pulse can be a symptom of arrhythmia.

Review Date: 5/23/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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