Graham Steell murmur


Graham Steell murmur: soft, blowing, decrescendo early diastolic murmur of pulmonary incompetence caused by pulmonary hypertension

It leads from an accentuated second sound that mimics the murmur of aortic insufficiency and is best heard at left sternal edge, second intercostal space in full inspiration.

History of the Graham Steell murmur

1873 – Graham Steel worked as intern for George William Balfour (1823–1903) who most probably first provided the first description of the murmur description

1888Graham Steell (1851-1942) first described to the Manchester Medical Society in 1888. Steell attributed the murmurs origin to pulmonary regurgitation caused by high pressure in the pulmonary artery in patients with mitral stenosis, and not disease of the pulmonary valve itself

In cases of mitral obstruction there is occasionally heard over the pulmonary area (the sternal extremity of the third left costal cartilage), and below this region, for the distance of an inch or two along the left border of the sternum, and rarely over the lowest part of the bone itself, a soft blowing diastolic murmur immediately following, or, more exactly, running off from the accentuated second sound, while the usual indications of aortic regurgitation afforded by the pulse, etc., are absent. The maximum intensity of the murmur may be regarded as situated at the sternal end of the third and fourth intercostal spaces. When the second sound is reduplicated, the murmur proceeds from its latter part. That such a murmur as I have described does exist, there can, I think, be no doubt.

I wish to plead for the admission among the recognised auscultatory signs of disease of a murmur due to pulmonary regurgitation, such regurgitation occurring independently of disease or deformity of the valves, and as the result of long-continued excess of blood pressure in the pulmonary artery

Graham Steel, 1888

Associated Persons


Historical articles

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U.K trained doctor currently working in ED in Perth my interests include all things acute medicine.

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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