This section is from the book "Diseases Of The Intestines", by Max Einhorn. Also available from Amazon: Diseases Of The Intestines A Text-Book For Practitioners And Students Of Medicine.
Auscultation is not of great significance in diseases of the intestine. Palpation of intestinal coils with the application of moderate pressure may elicit either a gurgling noise or a friction sound. The latter was formerly believed to be pathognomonic of typhoid fever. Of late, however, it has been recognized that this sign is found in many other conditions. At the time of active peristalsis all kinds of gurgling sounds are heard within the intestine (borborygmi), which, however, are not of much importance. In chronic stenosis of the intestine very loud noises are at times heard, caused by the sudden passage of liquid and gaseous contents through the stricture under great pressure. In the latter affection splashing sounds can also be easily produced over the enlarged bowel above the stricture. Often a tympanitic sound of a metallic character can be heard.