Surface Anatomy of the Heart
- The cardiac apex corresponds approximately to the apex beat. The true cardiac apex is actually further inferolaterally and does not contact the thoracic wall in systole.
- The right border of the heart corresponds to a line from the right 3rd costal cartilage’s superior border (1.2 cm from the sternal margin) to the 6th costal cartilage’s junction with the sternum.
- The left border of the heart is marked by a line from the apex beat to the lower border of the left 2nd costal cartilage 1.2 cm from the sternal margin.
- Areas for auscultation:
- Mitral valve: at the apex.
- Tricuspid valve: left sternal edge, 4th intercostal space.
- Aortic valve: 2nd right intercostal space.
- Pulmonary valve: 2nd left intercostal space.