Can clinicians reliably auscultate crackles on lung exam and differentiate between fine and coarse crackles?
Can clinicians reliably auscultate crackles on lung exam and differentiate between fine and coarse crackles? Evidence-based answer: The answer is unclear because of wide interexaminer variability in the ability to discern crackles on examination and a wide range in the reported sensitivities and specificities of crackles for various pulmonary conditions (SOR: B, narrative review of diagnostic studies). Crackles can be differentiated on auscultation using characteristics such as quality of the sound, location, and timing during the respiratory cycle (SOR: C, based on expert opinion). This differentiation can be limited by factors such as the intensity of background breath sounds and type of crackle (SOR: C, based on disease-oriented evidence).
Evidence-Based Practice 19, no. 6 (2016): E2-E3