Causes of Decreased Breath Sounds
  • Airway obstruction
  • Hyperinflation (emphysema)
  • Obesity
  • Pleural Effusion (accumulation of fluid in the pleural spaces)
  • Pneumothorax
  • Shallow Breathing
Breath Sounds
  • Crackles (or Rales) - Popping or nonmusical, discontinuous sounds usually heard during inspiration.
  • Pleural (friction) rubs - Loud nonmusical sounds heard both in inspiration and expiration.
  • Rhonchi - low-pitched musical sounds usually heard during expiration.
  • Stridor
  • Whispered Pectoriloquy (particularly with respect to whispering)
  • Wheezes
Breath Sound Quality
  • Bronchial - Typically heard over the trachea
  • Bronchovesicular - Typically heard over the mainstem bronchi
  • Vesicular - Typically heard over the lung
Related Links
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