Thorax 37:923-926 doi:10.1136/thx.37.12.923
  • Research Article

The inspiratory "squawk" in extrinsic allergic alveolitis and other pulmonary fibroses.


An inspiratory musical sound ("squawk") was recorded in 14 patients with diffuse pulmonary fibrosis. These were divided into two groups: nine patients suffering from extrinsic allergic alveolitis (seven with bird fancier's lung and two with farmer's lung) and five patients with pulmonary fibrosis due to other causes, including rheumatoid disease, Wegener's granulomatosis, systemic sclerosis, and sarcoidosis. Clinical studies and phonopneumographic analysis of 10 consecutive squawks in each patient showed that the sound in the group with extrinsic allergic alveolitis was of shorter duration, occurred later in inspiration, and tended to be of higher frequency than the sound heard in the other group. Inspiratory crackles were present in all patients and in eight a single loud crackle preceded the squawk. We suggest that squawks, like crackles, result from the opening of airways and that the differences between the squawks in the two groups may reflect the size of the affected airways.