For the ancient monasterial worker, see Auscultare

Laennec auscultates a patient before his students
MeSH D001314

Auscultation is the term for listening to the internal sounds of the body, usually using a stethoscope; based on the Latin verb auscultare "to listen". Auscultation is performed for the purposes of examining the circulatory system and respiratory system (heart sounds and breath sounds), as well as the gastrointestinal system (bowel sounds).

The term was introduced by René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laënnec. The act of listening to body sounds for diagnostic purposes has its origin further back in history, possibly as early as Ancient Egypt. Laënnec's contribution was to refine the procedure, to link sounds with specific pathological changes in the chest, and inventing a suitable instrument (the stethoscope) in the process. Originally, there was a distinction between immediate auscultation (unaided) and mediate auscultation (using an instrument).

Auscultation is a skill that requires substantial clinical experience, a fine stethoscope and good listening skills. Doctors listen to three main organs/ organ systems during auscultation: the heart, lungs, and the gastrointestinal system. When auscultating the heart, doctors listen for abnormal sounds including heart murmurs, gallops, and other extra sounds coinciding with heartbeats. Heart rate is also noted. When listening to lungs, breath sounds such as wheezes, crepitations and crackles are identified. The gastrointestinal system is auscultated to note the presence of bowel sounds.

Electronic stethoscopes can be recording devices, and can provide noise reduction and signal enhancement. This is helpful for purposes of telemedicine (remote diagnosis) and teaching. This opened the field to Computer-aided Auscultation.



The sounds of auscultation can be depicted using symbols to produce an auscultogram. It is used in cardiology training.[1]

See also


  1. ^ Constant, Jules (1999). Bedside cardiology. Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. pp. 123. ISBN 0-7817-2168-7. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • auscultation — [ ɔskyltasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1819; « action d écouter, examen » 1570; lat. auscultatio → ausculter ♦ Action d écouter les bruits qui se produisent à l intérieur de l organisme pour faire un diagnostic. ⇒ exploration, percussion. Auscultation immédiate …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Auscultation — pédiatrique d un nourrisson. L auscultation est la partie de l examen clinique qui consiste à écouter, à l aide d un stéthoscope (auscultation médiate), ou simplement à l oreille, divers bruits produits par les organes du corps humain, notamment… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Auscultation — Aus cul*ta tion, n. [L. ausculcatio, fr. auscultare to listen, fr. a dim. of auris, orig. ausis, ear. See {Auricle}, and cf. {Scout}, n.] 1. The act of listening or hearkening to. Hickes. [1913 Webster] 2. (Med.) An examination by listening… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Auscultation — (v. lat.), 1) das Hören; 2) (Med.), die Methode, Krankheiten mittelst des Gehörs zu erforschen u. zwar durch bloßes Anlegen des Ohrs an den leidenden Theil (unmittelbare A.); od. durch, zwischen beide gebrachte, den Ton leitende u. erhöhende… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Auscultation — Auscultation, Hören, in der Medicin ein Verfahren, Krankheiten der Brust und des Unterleibs vermittelst des Gehörs zu erforschen; bei Brustkrankheiten besonders angewandt vermittelst des von Lännek erfundenen Stethoscops …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • auscultation — act of listening, 1630s, from L. auscultationem (nom. auscultatio), from auscultatus (see AUSCULTATE (Cf. auscultate)). Medical sense is from 1821 …   Etymology dictionary

  • auscultation — [ôs΄kəl tā′shən] n. [L auscultatio, a listening < auscultare, to listen < aus , base of auris, EAR1 + cultare, by metathesis < * clutare < IE base * kel , to incline] 1. a listening 2. a listening, often with the aid of a stethoscope …   English World dictionary

  • auscultation — /aw skeuhl tay sheuhn/, n. Med. the act of listening, either directly or through a stethoscope or other instrument, to sounds within the body as a method of diagnosis. [1625 35; < L auscultation (s. of auscultatio) a listening, attending to,… …   Universalium

  • AUSCULTATION — n. f. T. de Médecine Action d’ausculter. C’est par l’auscultation que, depuis Laënnec, les médecins reconnaissent certaines lésions internes. L’auscultation a révélé les progrès du mal. Se rendre compte à l’auscultation …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • auscultation — noun Etymology: Latin auscultation , auscultatio act of listening, from auscultare to listen; akin to Latin auris ear more at ear Date: 1821 the act of listening to sounds arising within organs (as the lungs) as an aid to diagnosis and treatment …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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