MedSchool: Ace Your OSCEsThe Medical Company
GET - On the App Store
Deteriorating Patient
Deteriorating Patient

Bowel Sounds

February 15th, 2021


Auscultate the abdomen for bowel sounds. First listen in one quadrant and if an abnormality is discovered then listen in each of the three other quadrants.
In order to be sure that bowel sounds are absent, it is important to listen for at least five minutes.
  • Interpretation

  • Gurgling sounds: movement of gas and fluid via peristalsis
  • Borborygmi: loud rumbling sounds due to movement of air within the gut
  • Hypoactive: diminished or absent bowel sounds
  • Hyperactive: extremely increased bowel sounds
  • Hollow, high pitched tinkles: similar to rain on a tin roof, due to liquid and gas under pressure within dilated gut
Next Page
Want more info like this?
  • Your electronic clinical medicine handbook
  • Guides to help pass your exams
  • Tools every medical student needs
  • Quick diagrams to have the answers, fast
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge
Sign Up Now

Snapshot: Initialising...