Sound spectral analysis of voice-transmitted sound

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1986 Jul;134(1):167-9. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1986.134.1.167.


There is a change in voice-generated sound heard over an area of pulmonary consolidation described as the "e" to "a" change. The lung may act as a low pass filter with properties that are changed by consolidation. We studied 5 patients with pneumonia. Using an electronic stethoscope, we recorded the voice-generated sounds "e" and "9-9-9." Sound spectral analysis using the fast Fourier transformation technique was used to characterize the frequency spectrum of the recorded sound. This technique allowed us to evaluate the filter properties of the normal and consolidated lung. We found that the normal lung allowed transmission of sound as high as 250 Hz with a gradual cutoff by 400 Hz. The consolidated lung allowed transmission of sound of a higher frequency; however, there was no significant transmission of sound with a frequency higher than 1,000 Hz.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Auscultation / instrumentation
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Pneumonia / physiopathology
  • Spectrum Analysis / methods
  • Voice*