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Define Adventitious Lung Sounds

Introduction

Auscultation guide for adventitious lung sounds. On this page we provide a definition and then we present examples of several types of adventitious lung sounds using audio recordings and text. Links to the free training courses are noted as well.

What Are Adventitious Lung Sounds?

Adventitious lung sounds are abnormal sounds that are heard over a patient's lungs and airways. These sounds include fine and coarse crackles (crackles are also called rales), wheezes (sometimes called rhonchi), pleural rubs and stridor. Adventitious breath sounds are important clues used for diagnosing numerous cardiac and pulmonary conditions. These sounds and corresponding conditions are described in our breath sounds courses.



Listen

These are some examples of adventitious lung sounds.

Crackles

Crackles are discontinuous, brief, popping sounds. Similar to the sound of a hook and loop fastener being pulled apart
virtual auscultation of patient torso




auscultation position of patient

The patient's position is seated.

Wheeze

Wheezes are continuous, musical sounds, high or low-pitched. Usually more pronounced on expiration.

Audio Playback

virtual auscultation of patient torso




auscultation position of patient

The patient's position is seated.

Pleural Rubs

Pleural rubs are creaking or grating sounds that have been described as being similar to walking on fresh snow.

Audio Playback

virtual auscultation of patient torso




auscultation position of patient

The patient's position is seated.

Stridor

A loud, high-pitched sound heard during inspiration but may also occur throughout the respiratory cycle.

Audio Playback

virtual auscultation of patient torso




auscultation position of patient

The patient's position is sitting.

Respiratory Sounds Reference Guide

Our auscultation guide provides information and examples of adventitious breath sounds. The guide pages provide waveforms with a moving cursor that is synchronized to the audio recording. In addition, listening tips are available.


Quick Links to Other Breath Sounds

While we have many breath sound lessons and quick references on this website. Please use the links below.



Related Lessons

Learn important breath sounds. Our lessons cover over 15 adventitious breath sounds. Please review the lesson descriptions and links below.


Authors and Reviewers

Authored by Diane Wrigley, PA
Medically reviewed by Dr. Barbara Erickson, PhD, RN, CCRN.

Authors and Reviewers

Sources



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