The follow guidelines are recommended for Cardiologists, the purpose of the heart testing schemes.

  1. Consistency in the grading of heart murmurs is important between cardiologists. The follow guidelines are recommended for the purpose of the heart testing schemes.
    1. Grade I/VI is focal and quiet, difficult to hear in anywhere but a near-silent environment
    2. Grade II/VI is less intense than the heart sounds
    3. Grade III/VI is of a similar intensity to the heart sounds
    4. Grade IV/VI is more intense than the adjacent heart sounds
    5. Grade V and VI/VI are associated with a palpable pre-cordial thrill
  2. Where the point of maximal intensity (PMI) of a murmur is found to be very localised, but with a lower grade of murmur also audible elsewhere, the grade of the localised murmur should be recorded.
  3. When murmurs vary markedly with respirations and/or sinus arrhythmia in dogs, the most frequently heard grade (modal) should be allocated, rather than the maximum (eg. often found in the first beat or a series). In cats with dynamic murmurs, the maximum intensity should be recorded.
  4. Where a decision between two grades is not easily made: to help to differentiate between the grades, the higher grade should be recorded where there is a marked radiation of the murmur and/or where the murmur is more than of brief duration.

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