Lung Auscultation

Breath sounds

Sound Description Inspiration:Expiration(Sound Appreciation Ratio) Normal Location
Bronchial/Tracheal High Pitched, tubular  1:2 Over the trachea
Bronchovesicular Medium Pitched, rustling 1:1 1 finger breadth para-sternal
Vesicular Soft, Low Pitched 2:1 (especially in basal segments) Peripheral Lung segments

Location of Normal Breath Sounds 

Lung Sounds locations

Audio Examples (courtesy of the University of Maryland at Baltimore via iTunes U ) 

Auscultation of the peripheral lung segments


  • All lung segments should be auscultated on both sides.
  • Stethoscope should be placed onto bare skin
  • Instruct the patient to breathe through their mouth.
  • Listen through one full breath cycle (inspiration and expiration) for each segment.
  • Breath sounds should be identical from side to side

Lung Segments of the Anterior Chest Wallchest auscultation points

Lung Segments of the Posterior Chest Wall


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