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Hamman's sign (rarely, Hammond's sign[1 ] or Hammond's crunch[2] is a crunching, rasping sound, synchronous with the heartbeat,[3] heard over the precordium in spontaneous mediastinal emphysema.

It is named for Johns Hopkins clinician Louis Hamman, M.D.[4]

This sound is heard best over the left lateral position. It has been described as a series of precordial crackles that correlate with the heart beat and not the respirations.


Hamman's crunch is caused by pneumomediastinum or pneumopericardium, and is associated with tracheobronchial injury[5] due to trauma, medical procedures (e.g., bronchoscopy) or proximal pulmonary bleb rupture. It is commonly seen in Boerhaave syndrome.

See also


  1. ^ "The Pericardium - Google Book Search". Retrieved 2008-11-26.  
  2. ^ Hadjis T, Palisaitis D, Dontigny L, Allard M (March 1995). "Benign pneumopericardium and tamponade". Can J Cardiol 11 (3): 232–4. PMID 7889442.  
  3. ^ Hamman sign at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  4. ^ synd/3001 at Who Named It?
  5. ^ Chu CP, Chen PP (April 2002). "Tracheobronchial injury secondary to blunt chest trauma: Diagnosis and management". Anaesth Intensive Care 30 (2): 145–52. PMID 12002920.  


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