Medical Definition of Rale

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Rale: An abnormal lung sound that can be heard through a stethoscope. Rales may be sibilant (whistling), dry (crackling), or wet (sloshy), depending on the amount and density of fluid refluxing back and forth in the air passages.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018