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Chest. 1984 Apr;85(4):523-5.

Survey of adventitious lung sound terminology in case reports.


Descriptions of adventitious lung sounds in the case reports of eight authoritative medical journals from 1978 through 1982 were tabulated in an effort to identify recent changes in terminology. Adventitious lung sounds were described in 590 case reports. During the five years surveyed, there was a decrease in usage of the term, "rales," and an increase in usage of the terms, "crackles" and "wheezes." Usage of the terms, "rhonchi" and "crepitations," did not significantly change in frequency over the five years surveyed; however, when compared to a previous survey, usage of the term, "crepitations," has declined. British journals predominantly use the terms, "crackles" and "wheezes," to describe adventitious lung sounds. Although American journals most often use the terms, "rales," "wheezes," and "rhonchi," the term, "crackles," is increasing in usage.

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