Info

Relative Intensity

Relative Pitch

Relative Duration

Example of Location

Pathologic Examples

Flatness

Soft

High

Short

Thigh

Large pleural effusion

Dullness

Medium

Medium

Medium

Liver

Lobar pneumonia

Resonance

Loud

Low

Long

Normal lung

Simple chronic bronchitis

Hyperresonance

Very loud

Lower

Longer

None normally

Emphysema, pneumothorax

Tympany

Loud

High*

*

Gastric air bubble or

Large pneumothorax

puffed-out cheek

* Distinguished mainly by its musical timbre.

puffed-out cheek

* Distinguished mainly by its musical timbre.

While the patient keeps both arms crossed in front of the chest, percuss the thorax in symmetric locations from the apices to the lung bases.

Percuss one side of the chest and then the other at each level, as shown by the numbers below. Omit the areas over the scapulae—the thickness of muscle and bone alters the percussion notes over the lungs. Identify and locate the area and quality of any abnormal percussion note.

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