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Bronchial breath sounds

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Bronchial breath sounds are harsh and poor in nature. Unlike normal vesicular breath sounds there is an audible gap between the inspiratory and expiratory phase sounds. If heard in the chest they are abnormal and suggest the presence of consolidation or fibrosis.

The sounds of bronchial breathing are generated by turbulent air flow in large airways and similar sounds can be heard in healthy patients by listening over the trachea.

In healthy patients however these sounds are not conducted to the chest wall since they are attenuated by air filled alveoli and lung parenchyma. In the presence of consolidation or fibrosis however the sound of air flow in the bronchi is conducted more effectively to the chest wall and bronchial rather than vesicular breath sounds are heard.

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