1. A diagnostic procedure designed to determine the density of a body part by the sound produced by tapping the surface with the finger or a plessor; performed primarily over the chest to determine presence of normal air content in the lungs and over the abdomen to evaluate air in the loops of intestine and the size of solid organs such as the liver and spleen. 2. A form of massage, consisting of repeated blows or taps of varying force. [L. percussio, fr. per-cutio, pp. -cussus, to beat, fr. quatio, to shake, beat]
- auscultatory p. auscultation of the chest or other part at the same time that p. is made, to aid in hearing the sound made by p..
- bimanual p. immediate p. in which the finger of one hand taps the other hand; a form of mediate p..
- clavicular p. p., usually direct, along the entire clavicle to demonstrate dullness, particularly in apical pulmonary tuberculosis.
- deep p. heavy p. to obtain information about deeply situated organs or structures.
- direct p. SYN: immediate p..
- finger p. p. in which a finger of one hand is used as a plessimeter and one of the other hand as a plessor.
- immediate p. the striking of the part under examination directly with the finger or a plessor, without the intervention of another finger or plessimeter. SYN: direct p..
- mediate p. p. effected by the intervention of a finger or a plessimeter between the striking finger or plessor and the part percussed.
- Murphy p. examination for dullness by striking the chest wall directly with the fingertips of one hand successively, beginning with the fifth finger. SYN: piano p..
- palpatory p. finger p. in which attention is focused upon the resistance and reverberation of the tissues under the finger as well as upon the sound elicited. SYN: plessesthesia.
- piano p. SYN: Murphy p..
- threshold p. p. effected by means of a glass rod as a plessimeter, the rod being inclined to the wall of the chest or abdomen and touching it only by one extremity.

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per·cus·sion pər-'kəsh-ən n
1) the act or technique of tapping the surface of a body part to learn the condition of the parts beneath by the resulting sound
2) massage consisting of the striking of a body part with light rapid blows called also tapotement

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the technique of examining part of the body by tapping it with the fingers or an instrument (plessor) and sensing the resultant vibrations. With experience it is possible to detect the presence of abnormal solidification or enlargement in different organs and the presence of fluid, for example in the lungs.

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per·cus·sion (pər-kushґən) [L. percussio] 1. the act of striking a part with short, sharp blows as an aid in diagnosing the condition of the underlying parts by the sound obtained. 2. a method of massage; see tapotement.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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