St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Chest x-ray

    Chest radiography; Serial chest x-ray; X-ray - chest

    A chest x-ray is an x-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.

    How the Test is Performed

    You stand in front of the x-ray machine. You will be told tohold your breath when the x-ray is taken.

    Two images are usually taken. You will need to stand against the machine, and then sideways.

    How to Prepare for the Test

    Tell the health care providerif you are pregnant. Chest x-rays are generally not done during the first 6 months of pregnancy.

    How the Test Will Feel

    There is no discomfort. The film plate may feel cold.

    Why the Test is Performed

    Your doctor may order a chest x-ray if you have any of the following symptoms:

    • A persistent cough
    • Chest injury
    • Chest pain
    • Coughing up blood
    • Difficulty breathing

    It may also be done if you have signs of tuberculosis, lung cancer, or other chest or lung disease.

    A serial chest x-ray is one that is repeated. Itmay be done tolook at or monitor changes found on a previous chest x-ray.

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    Abnormal results may be due to many things, including:

    In the lungs:

    • Collapsed lung
    • Collection of fluid around the lung
    • Lung cancer
    • Lung tumor
    • Malformation of the blood vessels
    • Pneumonia
    • Scarring of lung tissue
    • Tuberculosis

    In the heart:

    • Problems with the size or shape of the heart
    • Problems with the position and shape of the large arteries

    In the bones:

    • Fractures of ribs and spine
    • Osteoporosis
    • Other problems with the ribs or spine

    Abnormal results may also be due to:

    • Achalasia
    • Acute bronchitis
    • Acute MI
    • Acute mountain sickness
    • Acute pulmonary eosinophilia (Loeffler syndrome)
    • Adult Still’s disease
    • Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
    • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
    • Anthrax
    • Aortic dissection
    • Aortic insufficiency
    • Aortic stenosis
    • ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome)
    • Asbestosis
    • Aspergillosis
    • Aspiration pneumonia
    • Atelectasis
    • Atrial myxoma
    • Atrial septal defect
    • Atypical mycobacterial infection
    • Atypical pneumonia
    • Blastomycosis
    • Breast cancer
    • Bronchial adenoma
    • Bronchial asthma
    • Bronchiectasis
    • Bronchiolitis
    • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
    • Byssinosis (cotton dust lung disease)
    • Caplan syndrome
    • Cardiac tamponade
    • Cerebral abscess
    • Chronic bronchitis
    • Chronic glomerulonephritis
    • CMV pneumonitis
    • Coal workers pneumoconiosis
    • Coarctation of the aorta
    • Coccidioidomycosis
    • Diaphragmatic hernia
    • Diffuse interstitial pulmonary fibrosis
    • Dilated cardiomyopathy
    • Disseminated tuberculosis (infectious)
    • Drug-induced lupus erythematosus
    • Drug-induced pulmonary disease
    • Echinococcus
    • Emphysema
    • Empyema
    • Goodpasture syndrome
    • Heart failure
    • Histoplasmosis; acute (primary) pulmonary
    • Histoplasmosis
    • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    • Hospital-acquired pneumonia
    • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
    • Hypertensive heart disease
    • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Idiopathic cardiomyopathy
    • Idiopathic diffuse interstitial pulmonary fibrosis
    • Industrial bronchitis
    • Infective endocarditis
    • Inhalation anthrax
    • Ischemic cardiomyopathy
    • Left-sided heart failure
    • Legionnaire’s disease
    • Lyme disease
    • Malignant hypertension (arteriolar nephrosclerosis)
    • Meningitis
    • Mesothelioma (benign-fibrous)
    • Mesothelioma (malignant)
    • Metastatic brain tumor
    • Metastatic cancer to the lung
    • Metastatic pleural tumor
    • Mitral regurgitation
    • Mitral stenosis
    • Mitral valve prolapse
    • Mycoplasma pneumonia
    • Myocarditis
    • Necrotizing vasculitis
    • Neuroblastoma
    • Neurosarcoidosis
    • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    • Occupational asthma
    • Patent ductus arteriosus
    • Pericarditis
    • Peripartum cardiomyopathy
    • Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia
    • Pneumonia in immunocompromised host
    • Pneumonia with lung abscess
    • Premature infant
    • Primary alveolar hypoventilation
    • Primary pulmonary hypertension
    • Pulmonary actinomycosis
    • Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis
    • Pulmonary aspergilloma (mycetoma)
    • Pulmonary edema
    • Pulmonary embolus
    • Pulmonary histiocytosis X (eosinophilic granuloma)
    • Pulmonary nocardiosis
    • Pulmonary valve stenosis
    • Pulmonary tuberculosis
    • Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease
    • Q fever
    • Renal cell carcinoma
    • Respiratory distress syndrome (infants)
    • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
    • Restrictive cardiomyopathy
    • Rheumatoid lung disease
    • Right-sided heart failure
    • Sarcoidosis
    • Senile cardiac amyloid
    • Silicosis
    • Skin lesion of histoplasmosis
    • Solitary pulmonary nodule (benign)
    • Spontaneous pneumothorax
    • SVC obstruction
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus
    • Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)
    • Tension pneumothorax
    • Testicular cancer
    • Tetralogy of Fallot
    • Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
    • Transposition of the great vessels
    • Traumatic pneumothorax
    • Ventricular septal defect
    • Viral pneumonia
    • Wegener’s granulomatosis
    • Wilms tumor

    Risks

    There is low radiation exposure. X-rays are monitored and regulated to provide the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. Most experts feel that the risk is very low compared with the benefits. Pregnant women and children are more sensitive to the risks of x-rays.

    References

    Gotway MB, Elicker BM. Radiographic techniques. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus CV, Martin TR, et al. Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 19.

    Stark P. Imaging in pulmonary disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 84.

    BACK TO TOP

    • Aortic rupture, chest X-...

      illustration

    • Lung cancer, frontal che...

      illustration

    • Adenocarcinoma - chest X...

      illustration

    • Coal worker's lungs - ch...

      illustration

    • Coccidioidomycosis - che...

      illustration

    • Coal workers pneumoconio...

      illustration

    • Coal workers pneumoconio...

      illustration

    • Coal workers pneumoconio...

      illustration

    • Coal workers pneumoconio...

      illustration

    • Tuberculosis, advanced -...

      illustration

    • Pulmonary nodule - front...

      illustration

    • Sarcoid, stage II - ches...

      illustration

    • Sarcoid, stage IV - ches...

      illustration

    • Pulmonary mass - side vi...

      illustration

    • Bronchial cancer - chest...

      illustration

    • Lung nodule, right middl...

      illustration

    • Lung mass, right upper l...

      illustration

    • Lung nodule - front view...

      illustration

      • Aortic rupture, chest X-...

        illustration

      • Lung cancer, frontal che...

        illustration

      • Adenocarcinoma - chest X...

        illustration

      • Coal worker's lungs - ch...

        illustration

      • Coccidioidomycosis - che...

        illustration

      • Coal workers pneumoconio...

        illustration

      • Coal workers pneumoconio...

        illustration

      • Coal workers pneumoconio...

        illustration

      • Coal workers pneumoconio...

        illustration

      • Tuberculosis, advanced -...

        illustration

      • Pulmonary nodule - front...

        illustration

      • Sarcoid, stage II - ches...

        illustration

      • Sarcoid, stage IV - ches...

        illustration

      • Pulmonary mass - side vi...

        illustration

      • Bronchial cancer - chest...

        illustration

      • Lung nodule, right middl...

        illustration

      • Lung mass, right upper l...

        illustration

      • Lung nodule - front view...

        illustration

      A Closer Look

        Talking to your MD

          Self Care

            Tests for Chest x-ray

            Review Date: 9/1/2012

            Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
            adam.com

            A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


            Back  |  Top
            About Us
            Contact Us
            History
            Mission
            Locations & Directions
            Quality Reports
            Annual Reports
            Honors & Awards
            Community Health Needs
            Assessment

            Newsroom
            Services
            Brain & Spine
            Cancer
            Heart
            Maternity
            Orthopedics
            Pulmonary
            Sleep Medicine
            Urgent Care
            Women's Services
            All Services
            Patients & Visitors
            Locations & Directions
            Find a Physician
            Tour St. Luke's
            Patient & Visitor Information
            Contact Us
            Payment Options
            Financial Assistance
            Send a Card
            Mammogram Appointments
            Health Tools
            My Personal Health
            mystlukes
            Spirit of Women
            Health Information & Tools
            Clinical Trials
            Health Risk Assessments
            Employer Programs -
            Passport to Wellness

            Classes & Events
            Classes & Events
            Spirit of Women
            Donate & Volunteer
            Giving Opportunities
            Volunteer
            Physicians & Employees
            For Physicians
            Remote Access
            Medical Residency Information
            Pharmacy Residency Information
            Physician CPOE Training
            Careers
            Careers
            St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
            Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile