Chest Radiology > Interpretation > How to read a CXR

How to Read a Chest X-Ray


Turn off stray lights, optimize room lighting, view images in order

Patient Data (name history #, age, sex, old exams)

Routine Technique: AP/PA, exposure, rotation, supine or erect

Trachea: midline or deviated, caliber, mass

Lungs: abnormal shadowing or lucency

Pulmonary vessels: artery or vein enlargement

Hila: masses, lymphadenopathy

Heart: thorax: heart width > 2:1 ? Cardiac configuration?

Mediastinal contour: width? mass?

Pleura: effusion, thickening, calcification

Bones: lesions or fractures

Soft tissues: don’t miss a mastectomy

ICU Exams: identify tubes first and look for pneumothorax



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