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the diagnostic technique in medicine of listening to the various internal sounds made by the body, usually with the aid of a stethoscope
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



one of the basic methods of examining internal organs by listening to the sound phenomena produced in them. Listening to the heart was first introduced in the second century A.D. by the Greek physician Aretes. The French doctor R. Laënnec (1819) developed the modern method of auscultation by employing for this purpose a “medical tube,” or stethoscope. More frequently a phonen-doscope is used for auscultation. This instrument is a hollow capsule with a sound-transmitting diaphragm that is placed against the body of a patient; rubber tubes connect it to the doctor’s ears.

During auscultation of the lungs one listens for the respiratory noises and the different rales that are characteristic of particular diseases. From the variation of the cardiac tones and the occurrence of noises, the condition of cardiac activity and presence of heart diseases can be ascertained. Arteries may be listened to in order to determine changes in the blood pressure. The presence of peristalsis of the stomach or intestines can be established by auscultation of the abdomen, and in pregnancy the heartbeat of the fetus can be detected.

In veterinary science, auscultation is employed in the diagnosis of diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems of animals. In direct auscultation the investigator places his ear against a sheet or a towel covering the portion of an animal’s body being examined; indirect auscultation is carried out by means of a stethoscope or phonendoscope. Instrumental auscultation was first employed in veterinary science by the Hungarian scientist J. Marek in 1901. In the USSR the auscultation method was perfected by the veterinary scientists K. M. Gol’tsman, N. P. Rukhliadev, A. V. Sinev, A. R. Evgrafov, G. V. Domrachev, V. I. Zaitsev, P. S. Ionov, and I. G. Sharabrin.


Strazhesko, N. D. Izbrannye trudy, vol. 1. Kiev, 1955.
Gubergrits, A. Ia. Neposredstvennoe issledovanie bol’nogo. Izhevsk, 1956.
Klinicheskaia diagnostika vnutrennikh boleznei domashnikh zhivot-nykh. Moscow, 1958.
Sudakov, N. A. “Auskultatsiia.” In Veterinarnaia entsiklopediia, vol. 1. Moscow, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The act of listening to sounds from internal organs, especially the heart and lungs, to aid in diagnosing their physical state.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Analysis of the EOC and EOY Medicine OSCE scores of 77 students revealed that except for the station of cardiac auscultation, mean scores significantly decreased in most of EOY OSCE stations (Table-3).
The independent learner materials included the Essential Cardiac Auscultation CD-ROM, introductory PowerPoint slide set, and the learner manual.
The neck was supple with no carotid bruits and cardiac auscultation revealed 2/6 ejection systolic murmur in the left sternal border.
In the word known manuals 8 (4), 11 (3), 20 (5), 23 diseases with heart murmurs (Learning Cardiac Auscultation CD-ROM Software) (6).
Comparison of the results by traditional and proposed innovative methods of cardiac auscultation training is a fundamental methodological tool of this research.
Determining the alterations in cardiac auscultation, especially the presence of murmurs, is the most common reason that patients resort to cardiologists.
Cardiac auscultation is one of the most useful investigative tools that the physician can use at the bedside to detect alterations in cardiovascular anatomy and physiology.
However, it is not known if silent PDA, which is not detectable by cardiac auscultation but can be recognized only by colored-flow echocardiography, increases the risk of IE or not (4).
At admission, the clinical examination was normal, heart rate was 80 beats/min, blood pressure 120/60 mmHg, and a physiological S3 sound on cardiac auscultation was present.