Abstract

Five mongrel dogs (2 interstitial and 3 alveolar edema) were studied. Lung mechanics were measured by recording the flow, volume, and esophageal pressure according to the standard technique. Edema was produced by infusion of Ringer lactate solution. Lung sounds were recorded on tape from the dependent part of the chest wall. Lung sound signals were high-pass filtered at 100 Hz and subjected to fast Fourier transform. Samples of lung sounds were analyzed before (control) and at 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 min after the infusion. The mean, median, and mode frequencies of sound power spectra at the control time were, respectively, 169.6 +/- 29.19, 129.6 +/- 29.81, and 136.0 +/- 29.87 (SD) Hz. These values increased significantly at 5 min after infusion to 194.0 +/- 26.08 (P less than 0.0037), 150.2 +/- 23.48 (P less than 0.0085), and 164.6 +/- 28.74 Hz (P less than 0.02), respectively. These values stayed significantly elevated at 10, 20, 30, and 40 min. The pulmonary wedge pressure, lung dynamic compliance, and pulmonary resistance were measured also at the same times. The mean, median, and mode frequencies correlated with pulmonary wedge pressure (P less than 0.00001, P less than 0.0001, P less than 0.0001), lung dynamic compliance (P less than 0.001, P less than 0.0001, P less than 0.0001), and pulmonary resistance (P less than 0.00001, P less than 0.00001, P less than 0.0001), respectively. There were no significant adventitious sounds up to 40 and 50 min after infusion. We concluded that pulmonary congestion and early edema alter the frequency characteristics of lung sounds early, before the occurrence of adventitious sounds. These altered lung sounds may be used as an index of pulmonary congestion and impending edema.