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[Skill Modules >> Pulmonary Examination ]

Pulmonary Exam Terms

Ausculation Findings

Finding Definition Audio Example
Crackles Discontinuous interrupted explosive sounds; may occur in early or late inspiration
  • fine crackles are high-pitched (includes "velcro-type")
  • coarse crackles are low-pitched
  • crackles in the lateral decubitus position (LDP) are those detected in the dependent lung with the patient lying on one side
listen to audio example
Wheezes Continuous, high-pitched hissing sounds; may occur during inspiration or expiration listen to audio example
Bronchophony An increase in the intensity and clarity of the patient's spoken voice as perceived transthoracically through the stethoscope

How To:
Perform by asking the patient to recite the word "ninety-nine" while the examiner listens via the stethoscope to each lung field.

Egophony A severe form of bronchophony, defined as a nasal or bleating quality of transmitted vocal sounds

How To:
Perform by asking the patient to say the letter "E" while listening with the stethoscope to each lung field: when egophony is present, the sound is transmitted as "A".

Whispered Pectoriloquy The unusually clear perception of the patient's whispered words through the stethoscope.

How To:
Perform by listening to each lung field sequentially as the patient whispers a word such as "ninety-nine".

Pleural Friction Rub A "creaky" sound traditionally described as "reminiscent of rubbing leather" or leather clothing sound against a new saddle - Are crackling intermittent repetitive sounds.

The sounds of pleural and pericardial friction rubs are often mistaken for coarse crackles. Correct identification is important in expanding diagnoses to consider pleural and pericardial diseases.

listen to audio example

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