In medicine, “adventitious” refers to a sound or symptom that is not normally present, but occurs due to an abnormality or pathology. It can refer to various abnormal sounds, such as crackles, wheezes, or murmurs, that are heard during a physical exam.
For example, adventitious lung sounds may be heard in patients with lung disease, such as pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Adventitious heart sounds may be heard in patients with heart disease, such as valvular disease or cardiomyopathy. Adventitious sounds may also be heard in the gastrointestinal system, such as bowel sounds in patients with intestinal obstruction or bruits in patients with arterial stenosis.
The term “adventitious” is used to distinguish these abnormal sounds from normal, physiological sounds that are present in healthy individuals. Adventitious sounds may be useful in diagnosing and monitoring disease, and may be indicative of the severity or progression of the underlying condition.