Vesicular Lung Sounds

  • This is the sound heard over the chest at a distance from large airways.
  • It is a "soft" sound that has been compared to the sound of wind blowing through the leaves of a tree.
  • This is the most common sound heard in the absence of lung disease.

Vesicular sounds are the most common sounds heard over the chest. They are present at sites that are at a distance from large airways. While the term vesicular has been criticized because it is unlikely that any sound is produced in the "vesicles" i. e. alveoli, it is still a useful term to describe the sounds heard when the stethoscope is over lung parenchyma at a distance from large airways. The vesicular sound is a soft sound that has been compared to that of wind blowing through trees. It is louder in inspiration than expiration. In the time expanded waveform analysis an almost random undulating pattern is seen in inspiration. The expiratory sound is of relatively low amplitude. The vesicular sound is commonly decreased in chronic obstructive lung disease. It is also decreased over sites of pneumonia in the early stages of the illness. It is usually, but not always, decreased or absent in conditions where the ventilation to an area of lung is impaired: e. g. pneumothorax, misplaced endotracheal tube, mucus plugging.