Research Article

Auscultatory percussion of the head.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 10 April 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:1075
  1. J R Guarino


    Eighty-nine consecutive patients with suspected intracranial masses were examined by auscultatory percussion in a blind study to assess the sensitivity of the procedure. Each patient underwent computed tomography (CT) of the brain as part of his medical care, and the results were compared with those of auscultatory percussion. Fifty-one of the patients had abnormal CT scans, of whom 44 (86%) had abnormal (positive) findings on auscultatory percussion; seven (13%) yielded false-negative results. Each of the patients with subdural haematomas had distinctly positive findings by auscultatory percussion. Of the 38 patients with normal CT scans, 11 had strokes with hemiparesis, and each had positive findings in the contralateral hemisphere by auscultatory percussion. The remaining 27 patients with normal CT scans were healthy; 25 had normal findings on auscultatory percussion, two (7%) gave false-positive results. Twenty subjects were studied with phonoscopy. Auscultatory percussion is easy to perform and is clinically useful.