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Definition of Tympany

Tympany: A hollow drum-like sound that is produced when a gas-containing cavity is tapped sharply. Tympany is heard if the chest contains free air (pneumothorax) or the abdomen is distended with gas. Also known as tympanites.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5874
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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