The handgrip maneuever is performed by clenching one's fist forcefully for a sustained time until fatigued. Variations include squeezing an item such as a rolled up washcloth.
Since increasing afterload will prevent blood from flowing in a normal forward path, it will increase any murmurs that are due to backwards flowing blood. This includes aortic regurgitation (AR), mitral regurgitation (MR), and a ventricular septal defect (VSD).
Mitral valve prolapse: The click and the murmur of mitral valve prolapse are delayed because of the increased left ventricular volume
Murmurs that are due to forward flowing of blood such as aortic stenosis, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy decrease in intensity.
The effect of reducing the intensity in forward flowing murmurs is much more evident in aortic stenosis rather than mitral stenosis. The reason for this is that there is a larger pressure gradient across the aortic valve. A complementary maneuver for differentiating disorders is the Valsalva maneuver, which decreases preload.
|Handgripping maneuver||Cardiac Finding|
|Increased murmur intensity|
|Ventricular septal defect|
|Mitral valve prolapse|
|Decreased murmur intensity|
- "Response of heart murmur intensity to isometric (handgrip) exercise". Br Heart J 34 (6): 605–10. June 1972. doi:10.1136/hrt.34.6.605. PMC 458507. PMID 5064766.
- Kanu Chatterjee (May 9, 1999). "Physiologic and pharmacologic maneuvers in the differential diagnosis of heart murmurs and sounds".