Austin Flint Murmur
Other Known Aliases – none
Definition – low-pitched, rumbling, mid-to-late diastolic murmur heard best at the apex
Clinical Significance – this murmur is associated with severe aortic regurgitation and is due to two distinct mechanisms. First, the aortic jet flow impinging on the mitral valve causing vibrations from premature closing and second, turbulence of two columns of blood from the left atrium to left ventricle and aorta to left ventricle.
History – Named after Austin Flint I (1812-1886), an American physician who received his medical doctorate from Harvard University in 1833. He would practice in Boston, Buffalo (where he would help found the Buffalo Medical College, and New York City, where he was professor of medicine at the famed Bellevue Hospital. A proponent of European diagnostic methods (as he was mentored by James Jackson at Harvard, who was a follower of Laënnec), he advocated and popularized the use of the binaural stethoscope in physical diagnosis. He was a prolific writer and researcher with his Treatise on the Principles and Practice of Medicine considered as a classic medical text. He is also recognized as having coined the term “broncho-vesicular breathing” in lung auscultation. He would publish the first detailed description his eponymous murmur in 1862 in the American Journal of Medicine Sciences in an article entitled “On cardiac murmurs”.
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- Flint A. On cardiac murmurs. American Journal of Medical Science. 1862;7;29-54 [link]
- The Mitral Valve. Austin Flint. http://www.themitralvalve.org/mitralvalve/austin-flint