Bbronchial breath sounds in pneumonia-why?

  1. I know to expect bronchial breath sounds with crackles in pneumonia. What is the physiology behind it?

    I'm trying to rationalize it myself. The most I can come up with is sound travels better thru fluid. This is for testing purposes, not in practice.
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    Joined: Aug '11; Posts: 3; Likes: 1


  3. by   nurseprnRN
    Nah, it's because if a lot of the alveoli are not moving air because they're full of junk, they're quiet.

    The alveoli that are wet and sticky that pop open on inspiration make the crackly sounds.

    The air rushing in and out of the big bronchial tubes make...bronchial sounds, easier to hear because there aren't normal alveolar sounds to hear better.
  4. by   ebdevildog85
    Thank you. Great explanation.
  5. by   snbell
    Bronchial breath sounds, which are supposed to be heard over the trachea, are loud and high pitched. Inspiration < expiration (meaning you hear more on expiration). Over the lungs, you are supposed to hear vesicular sounds which are low-pitched/soft and inspiration> expiration. When you hear the loud crackling produced from pneumonia which results from the alveoli popping open, it is a higher pitched sound (likened to bronchial breath sounds).