Diminished vesicular sounds can be heard over the anterior and posterior chest walls in obese or elderly patients. This term would be used comparatively, auscultating from side to side.
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Diminished vesicular sounds are of lower intensity and are less full or robust than vesicular sounds. These sounds can occur in patients who move a lowered volume of air, such as in frail, elderly patients or shallow breathing patients. They are also heard with obese or highly muscular patients, where tissue mass impedes sound. They exhibit a normal inspiration to expiration ratio of 3 to 1, or 4 to 1.