BASIC LUNG SOUNDS - WHEEZES


Wheeze Lung Sounds

  • These are high pitched, whistling or sibilant sounds.
  • They are caused by airway narrowing, secretions.

Wheezes are described as relatively "continuous" sounds as compared to crackles. They usually last for more than 200 milliseconds and have a musical quality. On time expanded waveform analysis they can be seen to have a sinusoidal pattern. Wheezes are believed to be caused by airway narrowing. While bronchospasm is a common cause of the narrowing that causes wheezing, a variety of other conditions can also produce this adventitious sound including airway edema, secretions, endobronchial tumors and extrinsic compression of an airway. Wheezing in congestive heart failure is likely due to increased fluid in peribronchial lymphatics causing airway compression.