S3 Heart Sounds Introduction

Introduction

Learn about the S3 heart sound, listen to examples, take short lessons and compare to other heart sounds. For all medical professionals.

Our S3 and S4 heart sound lessons can be found in this course. Secondly, our reference index is designed to provide quick access to stridor sounds, with audio tracks, listening guides and waveforms. Use this link for quick reference to heart and lung sounds.

What is an S3 Heart Sound?

The third heart sound is a short, low frequency sound heard best with the stethoscope's bell. It occurs early in diastole and is dull in quality. As an extra heart sound, it creates a galloping rhythm with a cadence like word 'Kentucky'.

Normal vs S3 Heart Sound

Here we offer a comparison of S3 vs S4 heart sounds.

S3 Heart Sound Gallop

Listen for a short, low frequency sound early in diastole. Try to match the cadence to 'Kentucky'.

virtual auscultation of patient torso
auscultation position of patient
The patient's position is supine.



Waveform

Compare To S4 Heart Sound Gallop

Listen for a cadence like the word 'Tennessee' where the syllable 'Ten' is S4. S4 is usually short and low frequency.

virtual auscultation of patient torso
auscultation position of patient
The patient's position is supine.

Heart Sounds Reference Guide

Our auscultation reference guide provides quick access to this sound as well as many other adventitious sounds. Each sound is described also with an audio recording and waveform.



Authors and Reviewers

Authored by Dr. Jonathan Keroes, MD and David Lieberman, Developer, Virtual Cardiac Patient.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Barbara Erickson, PhD, RN, CCRN.
Last Update: 2/15/2022.


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