Master Lung Sounds - Crackles with Picmonic for Nursing RN

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Lung Sounds - Crackles

Crackers with Lungs Stethoscope
Picmonic
The lung sound known as crackles are caused by sudden reinflation of groups of alveoli or disruptive passage of air through small airways. Fine crackles are high-pitched and heard during end of inspiration. Course crackles are loud, bubbly sounds heard during inspiration.
5 KEY FACTS
LOCATION
Lower Lobes
Lower Lobes of lungs

Crackles can be heard from auscultation at the lower lobes of the lungs. If they are significant, they imply either accumulation of fluid secretions or exudate within airways or inflammation and edema in the pulmonary tissue.

DESCRIPTION
Fine/Coarse
Fine-hair and Coarse-hair

Crackles can be either fine or coarse, and are heard more commonly with inspiration than expiration.

SOUNDS LIKE
Fine: Twisting Hair through Fingers
Twisting Fine Hair in Fingers

Fine crackles sound like salt heated on a frying pan or the sound of rolling your hair between your fingers next to your ear.

Coarse: Velcro
Coarse-hair with Velcro

Coarse crackles sound like pouring water out of a bottle or like ripping open Velcro. This lung sound is often a sign of adult respiratory distress syndrome, early heart failure, asthma, and pulmonary edema.

CAUSE
Collapsed Small Airways and Alveoli "Popping Open"
Popping Bubble Wrap

Crackles are thought to be due to the opening of collapsed airways. Fine crackles tend to occur mid-to-late inspiration and are unrelated to secretions or coughing. Coarse crackles tend to be secretion-related and early in inspiration.

Unlock all 5 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Lung Sounds - Crackles Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Nursing (RN) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 870,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Nursing (RN) student study app.

Picmonic for Nursing (RN) covers information that is relevant to your entire Nursing (RN) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer your NCLEX®-RN, Hesi, ATI, TEAS test, Kaplan exams, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Nursing (RN) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.