Welcome to our rales page. On this page we provide a definition of rales, including its clinical significance. We then compare rales against rhonchi with audio recordings and text. Finally, there is a link to the rales training lessons available on this site.
Rales are abnormal lung sounds characterized by discontinuous clicking or rattling sounds. They can sound like salt dropped onto a hot pan or like cellophane being crumpled.
What about crackles? Crackles and rales mean the same thing. Refer to our 'crackles' page for more information on fine vs coarse crackles, along with patient recordings for each.