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Byline: J. Suvarna
Watson's water hammer pulse (whp), also known as collapsing pulse, cannonball pulse or pulsus celer, is used to describe a pulse with a rapid upstroke and descent, characteristically described in aortic regurgitation.[sup]  Although the term Corrigan's pulse has been used at times synonymously with whp, Corrigan's pulse/sign is largely used to describe the abrupt distension and quick collapse of carotid pulse in aortic regurgitation whereas the term 'water hammer pulse' is used for the characteristic pulse seen in peripheral arteries like the radial artery. It may be seen in a number of other conditions and with hyperdynamic circulation.[sup] 
Sir Dominic John Corrigan a British pathologist, in 1833 at a young age of 30, described the visible abrupt distension and collapse of the carotid arteries in patients with aortic insufficiency. However, the similarity of the palpable characteristics of the pulse in aortic insufficiency and that of a 19[sup] th century Victorian 'water hammer toy' was pointed out by Thomas Watson in the year 1844. Therefore the eponym, 'Watson pulse' substituted 'Corrigan pulse'.[sup]  The 'water hammer toy' is a hermetically sealed glass tube partly filled with water and exhausted of air. When reversed or shaken, the water being unimpeded by air strikes the sides or ends with the sound and impact of a hammer.[sup]  The characteristic collapsing carotid pulse seen in aortic regurgitation is still referred to as Corrigan's sign.[sup]