Crackles - Fine (Rales)


Crackles (rales) are caused by excessive fluid (secretions) in the airways. It is caused by either an exudate or a transudate. Exudate is due to lung infection e.g pneumonia while transudate such as congestive heart failure. A crackle occurs when a small airways pop’s open during inspiration after collapsing due to loos excretions or lack of aeration during expiration (atelectasis). Crackles are much more common in inspiratory than in expiratory. Fine are typically late inspiratory. Fine crackles are high pitched, very brief and soft. It sounds like rolling a strand of hair between two fingers. Fine crackles could suggest an interstitial process; e.g pulmonary fibrosis, congestive heart failure.
Crackles - Fine (Rales)

Maneuver: Seated
Chestpiece Position: Chest wall
Chestpiece: Diaphragm