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Egophony (British: Aegophony) is an increased resonance of voice sounds[1] heard when auscultating the lungs, often caused by lung consolidation and fibrosis. It is due to enhanced transmission of high-frequency noise across fluid, such as in abnormal lung tissue, with lower frequencies filtered out. It results in a high-pitched nasal or bleating quality in the affected person's voice.

Contents

Technique

While listening to the lungs with a stethoscope, the patient is asked to say the letter "e." What is heard is a higher pitched sound that sounds like the letter "a." (Some doctors refer to this as "e to a changes.") Most commonly, this indicates pneumonia.

In the UK it is conventional on respiratory examination to auscultate the chest while asking the patient to repeat the word "ninety-nine". There is, however, regional variation with medical students and doctors from Edinburgh preferring the phrase "one-one-one" due to its more rounded sound.

Related techniques

Similar terms are bronchophony and whispered pectoriloquy. The mechanism is the same: fluid or consolidation causes the sound of the voice to be transmitted loudly to the periphery of the lungs where it is usually not heard.

Etymology

Egophony comes from the Greek word for "goat," (aix, aig-) in reference to the bleating quality of the sound. [2]

References

  1. ^ egophony at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ Sapira JD (1995). "About egophony". Chest 108 (3): 865–7. doi:10.1378/chest.108.3.865. PMID 7656646.  
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