×
MedSchool: Ace Your OSCEsThe Medical Company
 
 
 
 
 
GET - On the App Store
View
Respiratory Exam
 
 

Chest Expansion

 
 
 
Bookmark

Overview

Assessing for chest expansion (symmetric or asymmetric) provides clues regarding the presence of chest wall pathology, lung volume loss or obstruction.
  • How to Assess

  • While the patient is in maximal expiration, place your palms over the patient's posterolateral ribs with your thumbs touching in the midline. Ask the patient to take a deep breath in and measure the distance that the thumbs move apart.
Measure both anteriorly and posteriorly, comparing measurements.
  • Causes of Decreased Chest Expansion

  • Bilateral

  • Airway obstruction - asthma, COPD
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Musculoskeletal - arthritides, rib fracture
  • Unilateral

  • Pneumothorax
  • Atelectasis
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