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Pulse - bounding

A bounding pulse is a strong and forceful heartbeat felt over one of the arteries in the body.


A bounding pulse and rapid heart rate both occur in the following conditions or events:

  • Abnormal or rapid heart rhythms
  • Anemia
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve problem called aortic regurgitation
  • Heavy exercise
  • Fever
  • Pregnancy, because of increased fluid and blood in the body
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidisim)

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if the intensity or rate of your pulse increases suddenly and does not go away. This is very important when:

  • You have other symptoms along with increased pulse.
  • The change in your pulse does not go away when you rest for a few minutes.
  • You already have been diagnosed with a heart problem.
Taking your carotid pulse

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your health care provider will do a physical exam that includes checking your temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, and blood pressure. Your heart and circulation will also be checked.

Your provider will ask questions such as:

  • Is this the first time you have felt a bounding pulse?
  • Did it develop suddenly or gradually? Is it always present, or does it come and go?
  • Does it only happen along with other symptoms, such as palpitations? What other symptoms do you have?
  • Does it get better if you rest?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Have you had a fever?
  • Have you been very anxious or stressed?
  • Do you have other heart problems, such as heart valve disease, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure?
  • Do you have kidney failure?

The following diagnostic tests may be performed:

Alternative Names

Bounding pulse


Goldman L. Approach to the patient with possible cardiovascular disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 50.

Update Date 5/13/2014

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