When measuring your blood pressure in your arm, when you hear the sound to measure the systolic, is that sound NOT the heartbeat?

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    $\begingroup$ what do you define by "heart beat"? The sound of the heart beating or the rate of the heart beating? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Jul 7, 2015 at 0:48

1 Answer 1


The sound in question is called the Korotkoff sound:

If the pressure is dropped to a level equal to that of the patient's systolic blood pressure, the first Korotkoff sound will be heard. As the pressure in the cuff is the same as the pressure produced by the heart, some blood will be able to pass through the upper arm when the pressure in the artery rises during systole. This blood flows in spurts as the pressure in the artery rises above the pressure in the cuff and then drops back down beyond the cuffed region, resulting in turbulence that produces an audible sound.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm glad you found that info. I wasn't sure if the question was asking about the sound of the heart or some artificial sound cuffs make. $\endgroup$ Jul 7, 2015 at 4:00
  • $\begingroup$ @mattkaeo blood pressure + measurement = Korotkoff sounds, this what the question is about... $\endgroup$
    – Ilan
    Jul 7, 2015 at 4:05

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