Breath Sounds of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

Bilateral fine crackles on chest auscultation are detected in 60% of patients with IPF.5 These crackles have a distinctive “Velcro-like” character and are heard during middle to late inspiration.6 They tend to be heard almost exclusively over the dependent lung regions and are changed very little by coughing.6 The sounds may be gradually or suddenly extinguished by having the patient bend forward, thus removing the effect of gravity.7 These fine crackles are generated when previously collapsed alveoli suddenly reopen during late inspiration.7

Listen to the examples below to hear breath sounds recorded from patients with IPF.

Note: recordings were made with a 3M Littmann Electronic Stethoscope 3200 in a clinic setting with patients at rest.