Gibson murmur


Gibson murmur (machinery murmur): Long rumbling continuous (machinery) murmur occupying most of systole and diastole, most commonly localized in the second left interspace near the sternum.

Usually indicative of patent ductus arteriosus. The murmur results from continuous flow from aorta to pulmonary artery since aortic pressure is higher than pulmonary pressure throughout cardiac cycle.

History of the Gibson murmur

1847 – First recorded description in London Medical Gazette v.39. Post mortem discussion between Dr’s Babington, Gull and Williams on a ‘case of cyanosis dependent on patent ductus arteriosus‘ following admission to Guys Hospital, London in January 1847. Dr Babington read the case, confirming patent ductus arteriosus, to which Dr Williams replied:

…as a sure ground of diagnosis…of patent ductus arteriosus…the murmur accompanying the first sound of the heart is prolonged INTO the second, so that there is no cessation of this murmur before the second has already commenced. From this sign…he was able in two cases…to diagnosticate this lesion, and post-mortem examination proved the accuracy of this diagnosis.

London Medical Gazette 1847; IV (39): 824]

1906George Alexander Gibson (1854–1913) original description:

It persists throughout the second sound, and dies away gradually during the long pause. The murmur is distinctly rough and thrilling in its character. It begins, however, somewhat softly, and increases in intensity so as to reach its acme just about, or immediately after, the incidence of the second sound, and from that point gradually wanes till its termination.

Gibson GA, 1906

Associated Persons


Historical references

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the names behind the name

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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