Page 5, Turbulence & Rheology, Dr. D. Penney

Turbulence (continued..)

Turbulence is normal ("functional") in the human cardiovascular system. The sound it produces is of low frequency, thus difficult to hear. It is most common in thin people. It is especially common in children, the reason having to do with their higher metabolic rate, and therefore greater cardiac output per unit body mass. Both of these groups have less fatty tissue overlying the sites of turbulence, thus making it easier to hear.

Turbulence is also common in conditions of increased cardiac output, such as during exercise, and in the elderly with dilated aortae. In such a condition the tube is no longer straight, but rather bulges here and there. Of course turbulence is also more common in anemics.

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