What is the Difference Between Vesicular and Bronchial Breathing

The key difference between vesicular and bronchial breathing is that vesicular breathing is heard over the tissues of the lungs while bronchial breathing is heard over the tracheobronchial tree.

There are two normal breath sounds as vesicular breathing and bronchial breathing. Breath sounds are also known as lung sounds or respiratory sounds. They refer to specific sounds produced by the movement of air through the respiratory system. Normally, these sounds can be easily heard and identified through the auscultation of the respiratory system through the lung field with a stethoscope. In addition to normal breath sounds, common abnormal breath sounds may also be identified, such as crackles, wheezes, pleural friction rubs, strertor, and stridor.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Vesicular Breathing
3. What is Bronchial Breathing
4. Similarities – Vesicular and Bronchial Breathing
5. Vesicular vs Bronchial Breathing in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Vesicular and Bronchial Breathing

What is Vesicular Breathing?

Vesicular breathing is the breath sounds heard over the lung tissue. They are soft, low-pitched sounds that a doctor can hear across the lungs using a stethoscope when a person is having normal vesicular breathing. However, the changes in these sounds can be a sign of lung conditions such as infection, inflammation, or fluid in and around the lung.

Vesicular breathing occurs when air rushes in and out of the lungs during breathing. Normally, vesicular breath sounds are soft, low pitched, rustling in quality, louder, and high pitched when inhaling in comparison to exhaling and continuous with no pause between inhalation and the early part of the exhalation. Vesicular breath sounds are one of the several types of normal breath sounds. These sounds may vary in intensity between healthy individuals. These do not necessarily indicate that something is wrong. However, certain breath sounds are abnormal and are known as adventitious breath sounds. Adventitious breath sounds include wheezing, rales, ronchi, bubbling, squeaking, pleural rub, and stridor. Furthermore, abnormal breath sounds can be a sign of an underlying condition such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart failure.

What is Bronchial Breathing?

Bronchial breathing is the breath sound heard over the tracheobronchial tree. Bronchial breath sounds are loud, harsh breath sounds with midrange pitch and intensity. These sounds typically emanate from the larynx, trachea, and bronchi. The expiratory sound is longer than the inspiratory sound. It is normal for a doctor to hear bronchial sounds over the trachea as the patient breaths out. However, bronchial sounds emanating from other areas could signal an underlying condition with the lungs.

There are three types of abnormal bronchial breath sounds; they are tubular, cavernous, and amphoric. The other abnormal breath sounds include rales, ronchi, stridor, and wheezes. The causes of abnormal sounds may be due to conditions such as consolidation, pleural effusion, pulmonary fibrosis, atelectasis, mediastinal tumor, lung abscess, lung damage due to bronchiectasis, pneumonia, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and bronchitis.

What are the Similarities Between Vesicular and Bronchial Breathing?

  • Vesicular and bronchial breathing are two main breath sounds.
  • Both occur within the respiratory system.
  • Both are heard and identified through the auscultation of the respiratory system through the lung field with a stethoscope.
  • The abnormal sounds of both vesicular and bronchial breathing could indicate an underlying condition associated with the lung.

What is the Difference Between Vesicular and Bronchial Breathing?

The breath sounds heard over the tissues of the lungs are known as vesicular breathing, while the breath sounds heard over the tracheobronchial tree are known as bronchial breathing. Thus, this is the key difference between vesicular and bronchial breathing. Furthermore, vesicular breathing is soft, low pitched, rustling in quality, while bronchial breathing is loud, harsh breath sounds with midrange pitch and intensity.

The below infographic presents the differences between vesicular and bronchial breathing in tabular form for side by side comparison.

Summary – Vesicular vs Bronchial Breathing

Vesicular and bronchial breathing are two main breath sounds. The breath sounds heard over both lungs are known as vesicular breathing, while breath sounds heard over tracheobronchial tree are known as bronchial breathing. So, this is the key difference between vesicular and bronchial breathing.