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Article
October 17, 1914

PERCUSSION OF THE LUNGS: PART I. AN EFFORT TO STANDARDIZE THE DEGREES OF DULNESS PART II. THE ADVANTAGES OVER THE OPPOSITE METHOD OF PERCUSSION FROM BASE TO APEX

Author Affiliations

Associate in Medicine, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital; Physician in General Medical Department, Boston Dispensary; Assistant Physician Out-Patient Department, Boston Consumptives Hospital; Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School. BOSTON

JAMA. 1914;LXIII(16):1378-1380. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570160044012
Abstract

PART I  While studying physical diagnosis as a student, one of the things difficult for me to understand was percussion. As I talk to students in the medical schools now, I am told by them that percussion is one of the hard things for them to learn and that it means the least to them of the physical signs. It has interested me to study why this is so, especially as I have come to regard percussion as a distinctly definite and valuable diagnostic means. This is so true that instead of correcting my dulness by what I learn from auscultation, as I once did, I now correct my auscultation by what I learn from percussionMy studies have led me to recognize that the standards of clinicians for the various degrees of dulness, 1-2-3-4-line dulness—meaning respectively, impaired resonance, definite dulness, very marked dulness and flatness—are so individual, so lax

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