What Are Some Ways to Listen to Bruits?


Quick Answer

Correct placement of the stethoscope picks up existent bruits in the neck, at the navel and kidneys, or in the femoral, iliac and temporal arteries. Bruits make a whooshing sound that indicates potentially life-threatening issues.

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Full Answer

Arteriosclerosis and aneurysms cause bruits, which a medical professional hears by flipping the head of the stethoscope and listening through the bell. When listening for a carotid artery bruit, the stethoscope bell helps achieve a seal to isolate the sounds from the artery.

During an exam, the medical professional asks the patient to take a deep breath and hold it to eliminate the breathing sounds that interfere with hearing the bruit. The examiner also presses on the contra-lateral common artery to see if and how it changes the sound of the bruit.

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