The sounds produced by the alimentary canal were noted by the Father of Medicine, who is said to have first used the term "borborygmus" to describe the loud rumbles arising in the abdomen. In later times little discriminating attention has been paid to abdominal sounds. Hooker1 published an essay in 1849 in which he describes more or less alteration in the intensity of the sounds made by the alimentary canal in different diseases of the digestive organs. Other writers have classified the sounds normally audible into splashings, rattling or rustling noises, the murmurs of respiration and of the aorta.2
These sounds, however, according to L. Bernard,3 are not constant over the abdominal organs, nor do the sounds characteristic of the healthy individual alter in pathologic conditions. Little else than these statements is found in the most recent treatises on auscultation. Rubbing noises are mentioned in cases of
CANNON WB. THE RHYTHMIC SOUNDS OF THE ALIMENTARY CANAL. JAMA. 1906;XLVI(3):171–174. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.62510300005002
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