Accuracy and reliability of apical S3 gallop detection
- Cite this article as:
- Westman, E.C., Matchar, D.B., Samsa, G.P. et al. J Gen Intern Med (1995) 10: 455. doi:10.1007/BF02599919
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This study assessed physician performance in detecting the apical S3 gallop using a cardiology patient simulator. Six physicians (two cardiology fellows, two medicine residents, and two attending physicians) performed two sets of 24 cardiac examinations that included the presence or absence of an apical S3 gallop. All the examiners were able to significantly alter the prior odds of an apical S3 gallop’s being present, but the cardiology fellows had higher sensitivities. Sensitivity was lower for detecting soft S3 gallops, and specificity was lower when a diastolic murmur was also present. Physician performance in detecting apical S3 gallops is variable, but can be excellent.