Auscultation is the process of listening to body sounds, usually with a stethoscope. Most commonly, physicians and nurses auscultate the heart and lungs. Bowel sounds, fetal sounds and carotid bruit can also be auscultated.
Heart sounds are auscultated for murmurs, which are often associated with heart valve abnormalities. Other heart sounds can indicate congenital heart problems, myocarditis or pericardial friction rub.
Lungs are auscultated for sounds such as wheezes, rhonchi and crackles. Some clinicians liston to voiced breath sounds, which can indicate specific areas of the lungs that are consolidated.
Learn heart murmurs and other abnormal heart sounds using these courses. Over 60 lessons present systolic and diastolic murmurs, third (S3) and fourth (S4) heart sounds and congenital conditions. Each lesson includes audio, text, phonocardiogram and cardiac animation.Use the Quick Links panel to select a course.
We recommend that beginning student start with our Introduction to Heart Murmurs
page, then take the Normal Heart Sounds course and progress down the list of additional courses, at least through the Diastolic Murmurs course. Courses typically take 15-20 minutes.
Heart Murmurs Introduction
Recently developed, this course extends auscultation skills by a series of case studies related to carotid artery disease. Using our carotid artery exam simulator, you will be to identify carotid bruit, which is caused by turbulent blood flow in an artery which supplies blood to the brain.
Carotid Artery Exam Course
Dr Jon Keroes, Cardiologist
David Lieberman, Cardiac Simulation Software Engineer
Diane Wrigley, Physician Assistant and Nursing Educator
Dr Barbara Erikson, Heart Sounds Educator/Author
The creators of these materials have been key contributors to other heart auscultation books and CDs, including:
- The Virtual Cardiac Patient: A Multimedia Guide to Heart Sounds and Murmurs,
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins,
- Introduction to Heart Sounds CD,
Publisher: 3M Littmann,
- Prentice Hall Heart and Lung Sounds,
Workbook and CD,
- Simplified Introduction to Heart and Lung Sounds,
- SoundBuilder for Heart Sounds - iPhone Edition,
Publisher: 3M Littmann