Gallop rhythm

A gallop rhythm refers to a (usually abnormal) rhythm of the heart on auscultation.[1] It includes three or four sounds, thus resembling the sounds of a gallop.

Gallop rhythm

The normal heart rhythm contains two audible heart sounds called S1 and S2 that give the well-known "lub-dub" rhythm; they are caused by the closing of valves in the heart.

A gallop rhythm contains another sound, called S3 or S4, dependent upon where in the cycle this added sound comes.

It can also contain both of these sounds forming a quadruple gallop, and in situations of very fast heart rate can produce a summation gallop where S3 and S4 occur so close as to be indistinguishable.

Associated conditions

Gallop rhythms may be heard in young or athletic people, but may also be a sign of serious cardiac problems like heart failure as well as pulmonary edema.

Gallop rhythms may be associated with the following:

The atrium has to contract strongly to push the blood through the stiffened ventricle.


  1. Tavel ME (November 1996). "The appearance of gallop rhythm after exercise stress testing". Clin Cardiol. 19 (11): 887–91. doi:10.1002/clc.4960191109. PMID 8914783.
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