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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Continue to auscultate at least 10 mm Hg below phase V to exclude a diastolic auscultatory gap.
Forme latineggianti come auscultate o intemperantia si alternano a forme in volgare, "in lingua etrusca," e a inserti latini (auribus arrectis, lanista "eccitatore, tormentatore," ut aequum est).
Even in the unlikely event that a court rejected auscultation as an acceptable alternative to EFM, a plaintiff attempting to establish liability for the decision to auscultate must still prove that the choice to auscultate was the actual and proximate cause of injury.
Also, physical examination results like neck vein distension, palpate a prominent pulmonic impulse, and auscultate tricuspid regurgitant murmur were accepted as bad prognostic factors.
She was taught how to auscultate her fistula using a stethoscope prior to each cannulation.
You may ask about potentially pertinent medical history, perhaps obtain some basic blood work, auscultate for bowel sound and test for guarding, rebound, etc.
These decisions are not just confined to the domed Capitol and the Oval Office; they trickle down quickly to the rectangular rooms where you auscultate breath sounds and palpate little abdomens.
Despite being cheap and reliable, a significant shortcoming of a single precordial stethoscope is the inability to auscultate both lung fields.
As echocardiography and other technology for assessing the cardiovascular system have become readily available, physicians' ability to accurately auscultate the heart has diminished.
Staff should auscultate the AVF on a regular basis to note any change in quality of the continuous bruit under the entirety of the AVF along its length.
There is ample evidence of the shabbiness of our ability to accurately describe tympanic membranes and auscultate chests.