Lung Sounds

auscultation of lung sounds image

Welcome to our lung sounds training. We offer several ways to learn breath sounds auscultation. Our courses are an ideal entry point for new learners. The reference guide is designed to provide quick access to abnormal sounds, with summary listening tips, audio examples and waveforms. The repetition training pages provide a methodology that helps some users memorize each type of lung sound. Finally, our newest offering are a series of interactive case studies in pulmonary problem-solving.

Course completion certificates are now available. Signed-in users must review all course lessons and then pass a graded quiz. Personalized achievement certificates can be printed and are automatically saved to the user's dashboard.

Definition of Lung Sounds

Lung sounds, also called breath sounds, can be auscultated across the anterior and posterior chest walls with a stethoscope. Adventitious lung sounds are referenced as crackles (rales), wheezes (rhonchi), stridor and pleural rubs as well as voiced sounds that include egophony, bronchophony and whispered pectoriloquy. Descriptions and audio recordings for all of these sounds are available on this website.

Normal breath sounds include bronchial, vesicular, or bronchovesicular sounds. These sounds, as presented in our lessons and guides, have differing sound characteristics, depending upon the anotomical auscultation location. Adventitious sounds are abnormal sounds that include crackles, rhonchi, wheezes, stridor and rubs.

Lung Sounds Audio Characteristics

Lung sounds have several features that help characterize the sounds.

  • Sound pitch
  • Musicality
  • Timing within a breath cycle (inspiration or expiration)
  • Location on the chest wall
  • Sound intensity (loudness)

Reference Guide

Our auscultation guide provides quick access to normal, voiced and adventitious sounds. This guide includes audio recordings, listening tips and a waveform.

Lung Sounds Reference Guide

Different Lung Sounds - Our Lessons

Learn different lung sounds with our lessons that cover basic and intermediate levels of adventitious lung sounds and voiced sounds. Each lesson includes a description of a lung sounds, an audio recording and a course level quiz. Use the table of contents below to review and access a course or lesson.

Where To Listen To Lung Sounds

Each lung sound lesson includes a diagram that indicates where the author listened to the lung sounds.

Listening to Lung Sounds

Our lessons and reference guides allow you to practice listening to lung sounds audio recordings at your own pace. Each sound can be repeated until it has been learned. Our quizzes provide an additional way to learn to listen to each important lung sound.

Intro to Lung Sounds  
This free introduction to lung sounds module is designed to demonstrate our lung sounds lessons before a user decides to join our website.
1 Vesicular - Normal
4 Wheeze - Expiratory
7 Pleural Rubs
2 Bronchophony - Healthy
13 Stridor

Basics of Lung Sounds  
The goal of this basic course in lung sounds is to improve auscultation observational skills. We focus on describing important breath sounds and in providing recordings of each. Many students find that waveform tracings aid in learning lung sounds; we have included dynamic (moving cursor) waveforms with each lesson. The anatomy pages use illustrations to reveal an example of each lung sound (anatomy not yet available on smartphones).
Lessons. Types of Lung Sounds
1 Vesicular - Normal
2 Crackles - Fine (Rales)
3 Crackles - Coarse (Rales)
4 Wheeze
5 Rhonchi - Low Pitched Wheezes
6 Bronchial
7 Pleural Rubs
8 Bronchovesicular

Intermediate Lung Sounds
The goal of this intermediate course is to expand your observational skills when auscultating breath sounds. The course lessons include voiced sounds: bronchophony, egophony and whispered pectoriloquy. We also provide auscultation lessons on several types of wheezes, crackles and stridor. Each of these lung sound lessons includes audio, text and dynamic waveform. The anatomy pages use illustrations to reveal an example of each lung sound (anatomy not yet available on smartphones).
Lessons. Types of Lung Sounds
1 Vesicular - Diminished
2 Bronchophony - Healthy
3 Bronchophony - Abnormal
4 Egophony - e
5 Egophony - a
6 Whispered Pectoriloquy - Healthy
7 Whispered Pectoriloquy - Abnormal
8 Wheeze - Expiratory
9 Wheeze - Monophonic
10 Wheeze - Polyphonic
11 Crackles - Early Inspiratory (Rales)
12 Crackles - Late Inspiratory (Rales)
13 Stridor

Pulmonary Problem-Solving

Cases in pulmonary problem-solving that integrate clinical skills training with respiratory care. This course is presented by the Practical Clinical Skills website.

Pulmonary Problem-Solving

Authors and Reviewers

Author: Jon Keroes, MD Author: Diane Wrigley, PA, Author: William French, and David Lieberman.
Medical review by Dr. Barbara Erickson, PhD, RN, CCRN.
Special thanks for the mentorship of Dr. Raymond Murphy.

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