jugular venous pulsation (JVP)

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Pulse observed in the external jugular vein normally falls during inspiration.

Normal jugular waves:

a: atrial contraction

c: closure of tricuspid valve

v: ventricular filling

x descent following the c wave

y descent following the v wave.

Features which help distinguish jugular venous pulsation from carotid pulsations:

More general terms

More specific terms

Additional terms


  1. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 13th ed. Companion Handbook, Isselbacher et al (eds), McGraw-Hill Inc. NY, 1995, pg 326
  2. Guide to Physical Examination & History Taking, 6th edition, Bates B, JB Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1995, pg 282