Chest wall vibrations, subaudible to the ear but electronically recordable, may provide clinicians with a greater understanding of internal cardiac function. These vibrations, set in motion by cardiac contraction, are being recorded on an instrument called the apex cardiogram by E. Grey Dimond, MD, and Alberto Benchimol, MD, of the Institute for Cardio Pulmonary Diseases at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, Calif.
"We are using a very crude instrument," Dimond told The Journal, "and we are looking forward to its refinement and hope it becomes a useful diagnostic and therapeutic aid."
Since 1957, Dimond and Benchimol have been recording the movements of the chest wall overlying the left and right ventricles and designating these tracings as the apex cardiogram (ACG). "Others have measured the speed of the movement of these vibrations (vibrocardiogram) and the energy of the movement (kinetocardiogram ). We have all been interested in these subaudible,