Chest X-Ray


Last Updated October 11th, 2019

What is a chest x-ray?

A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside your chest. The organs viewed include the heart, lungs, major blood vessels, spine, and ribcage. A chest x-ray is one of the most common imaging tests prescribed by doctors.

What are x-rays?

X-rays are a kind of radiation termed electromagnetic waves. X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen (a Professor at Wuerzburg University in Germany). X-rays are electromagnetic radiation of the same nature as light, but their wavelength is much shorter. The wavelength of visible light is on the order of 6000 angstroms while the wavelength of x-rays is in the range of one angstrom. This short wavelength provides x-rays the ability to penetrate materials that light cannot.

Why has my doctor advised me to go for a chest x-ray?

Your physician may ask you to undergo a chest x-ray if you present with-

– Hemoptysis (blood in sputum)
– Persistent cough
– Prolonged fever
– Chest pain
– Trauma to the chest
– Difficulty in breathing
– A positive TB skin test

How widespread are respiratory diseases in India?

Respiratory illnesses are the number one reason for doctor visits in India. As per the latest statistics, India contributes to 32% of the total global burden of respiratory diseases, despite being home to 18% of the total world population. 1 out of every 10 deaths in India can be traced back to COPD. More than 30% of cases of all respiratory diseases, most commonly COPD can be directly attributed to poor quality of air.

What are the abnormalities diagnosed by a chest x-ray?

A chest x-ray is normally ordered so that your physician can analyze if your heart and lungs are functioning optimally. He may also need to find out if there is a fracture in your ribcage or spine in case you have suffered from trauma. A chest x-ray can reveal a lot about the structures inside your chest. It can throw light on-

The condition of your lungs– A chest x-ray can detect lung infections (tuberculosis, pneumonia, bronchitis), lung cancer, collection of fluid/air around the lungs, chronic lung diseases (cystic fibrosis, emphysema) and the presence of occupational lung disease (pneumoconiosis). A chest x-ray can also detect if your ailing heart is affecting the health of your lungs; as is the case in pulmonary edema which is a manifestation of congestive cardiac failure.

The condition of your heart– A chest x-ray can diagnose a multitude of heart diseases including cardiac failure, valvular abnormalities, congenital heart disease, cardiomegaly (an increase in the size of the heart) and pericardial effusion (collection of fluid in the sac covering the heart).

The condition of your blood vessels– An abnormality of the major blood vessels (aorta, pulmonary vessels) can be detected by a chest x-ray. As the outlines of the blood vessels are visible on a chest x-ray, an aneurysm or a congenital anomaly can be diagnosed.

Fractures- A fracture of the ribs or the spine can be detected by a chest x-ray.

Post-operative changes– Following surgery on your lungs, heart or upper gastrointestinal tract, your surgeon may ask you to undergo a chest x-ray. This is done to assess the response to surgery and to check if the devices inserted in your chest during surgery are in place. These may include endotracheal tubes, nasogastric tubes, and central venous catheters.

Implants in your chest wall– A chest x-ray can also be carried out to see if the positioning of medical devices such as a cardiac pacemaker or a defibrillator is correct.

Can I undergo a chest x-ray if I am pregnant?


The procedure of a chest x-ray involves the use of radiation which can be a source of hazard to the fetus. However, the dose of radiations used is very small. Moreover, during a chest x-ray, your reproductive organs are not exposed to radiation.  A lead apron can be worn to keep away the radiation. To be on the safer side, it is advisable to defer the x-ray exam to the second trimester of pregnancy.

What are the risks involved?

A chest x-ray examination is a safe, non-invasive and painless procedure. There is a hazard of exposure to radiation, but the doses used are very small. Unless you are undergoing repeated x-rays, there won’t be a deleterious effect on your body.

How should I prepare for a chest x-ray?

You do not need to make any special preparations before undergoing a chest x-ray. As is the routine with other diagnostic tests, talk to your physician regarding your medical history. Inform your physician if you have had exposure to radiation in the recent past (in the form of a diagnostic test employing radiation) and above all, tell him if you are pregnant. Remove jewelry or any metallic objects (including any body piercings on your chest) worn by you as these may obstruct the x-rays.

Do I need to fast before a chest x-ray exam?

There is no need to fast before undergoing a chest x-ray.

How is a chest x-ray performed?

– A chest x-ray is performed on an outpatient basis (unless the patient is already admitted to a hospital).

– No sedation is required. You will be awake and fully conscious during the entire procedure.

– You will be escorted to a room housing the x-ray machine.

– You will be asked to undress from the waist up and wear a hospital gown.

– Your body will be positioned between an x-ray machine that emits x-rays and an x-ray plate that creates an image. The image may be created digitally or with the help of an x-ray film.

– As a routine, two views are taken. One is with you facing the x-ray plate as the x-rays are shot at your back. This is known as the P-A view (posteroanterior view). In this position, a radiology technician will ask you to place your hands on your hips and press your chest firmly against the x-ray plate.

– In a lateral view, the x-rays bombard your body from the side. You need to stand with your arms elevated for this view.

-The technician will ask you to take a deep breath and hold your breath for some time while he shoots x-rays at your chest. In this position, the chances of blurring of the image due to movement is minimized.

– You will be required to stand still during the exam to avoid blurring the end images.

– While an x-ray is being done, the technician will protect himself from the radiations by staying behind a wall or better still, move into an adjacent room and do the needful.

In case you are suffering from an injury or a musculoskeletal condition that makes it difficult for you to stand, the procedure may be carried out with you in a sitting position.

How long does it take for a chest-ray exam?

The entire process of getting a patient ready for the exam, exposing the patient to x-rays and obtaining the images takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

What does a chest x-ray look like?

A chest x-ray yields black and white images. The organs or structures which let the x-rays to pass through appear as white. The structures which block the rays appear as black. Bones, being dense structures, appear black. The heart appears a few shades lighter while the air-filled lungs have a slightly darker shade.

What is the cost of performing a chest x-ray in India?

The cost of performing a chest x-ray in India ranges from Rs 100 to 500.

What are the other types of x-ray examinations commonly performed?

Apart from detecting the disease of the chest cavity (chest x-ray), x-rays can be employed to visualize almost all the regions of the body. A few specialized x-ray techniques are-

– KUB- kidney, ureter, bladder x-ray
– Sinus x-ray
– Mammography- an x-ray of the breasts
– Standard Computed Tomography

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Related Posts

  • Pneumonia among children
    Pneumonia Pneumonia is a respiratory disease in which acute inflammation of the lung…
  • Lung diseases child
    Bronchitis Bronchitis is a severe inflammation of the respiratory tract, especially the bronchial…
  • Bronchitis nebulization
    Lung Diseases Lung diseases is a collective term for different kinds of lung infections…
  • PLEURISY lungs
    Pleurisy Pleurisy is the inflammation of the pleural membranes. The visceral pleura wraps…
  • asthma in children
    Asthma The WHO fact-sheets showed that nearly 300 million suffer from this disease.…

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin.…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
Muscle relaxers: Think twice before popping prescription drugs for muscle pain The market is brimming with OTC muscle relaxers. But these come with a host side-effects.…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes,…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well.…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know…
DASH Diet: What to eat in a “Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension”? If you or your loved one is suffering from chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), dash…
Epley maneuver: Why is this the best protection from the symptoms of vertigo? Epley maneuver is an exercise that can treat the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo…
Chondroitin spine health
9 amazing ways chondroitin can help you bounce back to health Chondroitin is naturally found in meat, especially in the connective tissues of animals. Chondroitin works…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that…
Echocardiogram
Echocardiography – ECHO Echocardiography (commonly known as ECHO) is an imaging modality (similar to ultrasonography) used to visualize…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
chia seeds weight loss
Chia seeds: How to consume this staple Aztec food to get a leaner body Chia seeds: What is the actual reason for its sudden popularity? Why are celebrities swearing…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main…
Top natural diuretics: The instant benefits you can get from nature’s water pills Since diuretic drugs are known to cause side effects, it is better to choose a…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with…
Bromelain: 11 reasons why you should start adding pineapple to your pizza! If you didn't love pineapples already, here are some of the top health benefits that…
Anhedonia: Does the chronic inability to feel joy affect you too? How often do you feel dragged down by an invisible force? Do you feel an…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and…
ANTI-MICROSOMAL-ANTIBODY-(AMA)
Anti-Microsomal Antibody AMA Test AMA or anti-microsomal antibody test is a blood test that measures the activity of AMA…
Screening_BETATHALASSEMIA
Beta-Thalassemia Screening Beta-thalassemia screening procedures involve both prenatal and post natal diagnostic methods to determine if a…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey: What is it and why should you choose this over regular honey? Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the…
sodium chloride
Halotherapy: How inhaling salt can work wonders for your body Halotherapy is quickly gaining popularity amongst those with respiratory diseases. It has shown promise in…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
tips for perfect sleep
Stop hitting the snooze button: 8 proven steps to perfect sleep Are you tired of not getting enough sleep? All your efforts for a sound sleep…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
cold flu sinus treatment
How to beat the common cold, flu, and sinus infection instantly? Can you guess some of the easiest tricks to treat cold and sinus infections? How…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
MCT oil athletes
MCT Oil : The kind of fats you should be eating MCT oil or Medium Chain Triglycerides is the new buzzword in the fitness industry. What…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing…
Rick Simpson’s Oil: The truths and controversies of this cannabis product Rick Simpson's Oil is an extract from the much-controversial plant, Cannabis. What is the actual…
dandelion weight loss
Caralluma Fimbriata: How to eat this cactus to lose weight Caralluma fimbriata is a miracle cactus that can be safely consumed by most for losing…
Psyllium Husk: More than just an effective natural laxative Psyllium husk, or isabgol, is a popular natural laxative . But did you in addition…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life…
glucose-tolerance
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – GTT Glucose tolerance test (or Oral GTT) is used to detect the onset of diabetes or…
testosterone-blood-test
Testosterone test Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in males; produced in the testes and adrenal glands.…
quinoa salad
Quinoa : A prodigious superfood you need to include in your diet today! Quinoa - what is so special about this native South American grain that has taken…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
Drinking water benefits
8 reasons why you should grab a bottle of water now! Did you know you don't have to be thirsty for hours to be dehydrated?You could…
xylitol gum
Xylitol : Is this the right sugar substitute for you? Discovered during World War 2 owing to sugar shortage, xylitol has become a common name…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find…
Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight Tired of being called skinny all the time? Looking for healthy ways to beef up?…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling…
Vagus nerve: 7 health benefits of stimulating the “gut-brain” connection As a matter of fact, there are two vagus nerves namely the left and the…
V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy? Vagina - a simple part of the human anatomy that has often created a feeling…
Endoscopy Endoscopy is a procedure where an illuminated probe with a camera attached to it is…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the…

Related Posts

  • Pneumonia among children
    Pneumonia Pneumonia is a respiratory disease in which acute inflammation of the lung…
  • Lung diseases child
    Bronchitis Bronchitis is a severe inflammation of the respiratory tract, especially the bronchial…
  • Bronchitis nebulization
    Lung Diseases Lung diseases is a collective term for different kinds of lung infections…
  • PLEURISY lungs
    Pleurisy Pleurisy is the inflammation of the pleural membranes. The visceral pleura wraps…
  • asthma in children
    Asthma The WHO fact-sheets showed that nearly 300 million suffer from this disease.…

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.