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An abnormal sound accompanying the normal sounds of respiration within the air passages and heard on auscultation of the chest.



a pathological respiratory sound arising in the bronchi, trachea, or cavities formed in the lungs (abscesses, caverns).

Dry and moist rales are distinguished. Dry rales are caused by the whirling movement of air in places where a bronchial cavity narrows owing to spasm, swelling of the mucous membrane, or accumulation of viscid secretion. They have a whistling or buzzing quality and can be heard in auscultation, sometimes from a distance, for example, during an attack of bronchial asthma. Moist rales are caused by the passage of a stream of air through mucus and sound like bursting bubbles. They occur in bronchi, in the trachea, and in pathological cavities in a lung. Depending on the order of the bronchus or size of the cavity, rales may be smallbubbling, medium-bubbling, or large-bubbling. Consonanting (clear) and nonconsonanting (unclear) moist rales are also distinguished.

The presence, type, and sound of rales are important in the diagnosis of bronchitis, pneumonia, and other disorders.

References in periodicals archive ?
The diagnostic accuracy of the LUS, CXR, and moist rales before treatment for the diagnosis of HAPE was calculated.
Moist rales were recorded in only 102 HAPE patients before treatment.
The sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV of LUS, CXR, and moist rales before treatment were calculated and compared with the final diagnosis (Table 4).