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June 7, 1965

Stereophonic Binaural Differential Stethoscope

Author Affiliations

Tulsa, Okla

JAMA. 1965;192(10):919. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080230125029

To the Editor:—  In this day of computer controlled management of the operative patient and computer interpretation of the electrocardiogram and electroencephalogram, some of the time proven methods of physical diagnosis are easily overlooked. In this communication, a simple modification of the stethoscope is described which under certain circumstances is superior to the standard version for auscultation of the chest.The stethoscope, as originally introduced by Laennec, was a single hollow tube that transmitted sound from a single point to one ear (monophonic, monaural). The only significant modification of this arrangement was to split the tube so that the sound from a single point is delivered to both ears (monophonic, binaural). The differentiation of transmitted vs diffusely originating sounds is frequently difficult with the standard stethoscope. The exact site of origin of cardiac murmurs is sometimes difficult to determine. These problems may be overcome by use of this modified stethoscope.