Chest X-ray

A chest X-ray is an imaging test that used to look at the structures and organs in your chest. It can help your physician see how well your heart and lungs are functioning. The X-ray uses a small amount of radiation to make pictures of these areas.

Your physician may have ordered a chest X-ray to see if you may have an:

  • Enlarged heart, congenital heart defect or cardiomyopathy
  • Fluid in the space between your lungs and your chest wall (pleural effusion)
  • Pneumonia or another lung problem
  • Ballooning of the aorta or another great blood vessel (aneurysm)
  • Broken bone
  • Hardening of a heart valve or aorta (calcification)
  • Tumors or cancer
  • Diaphragm that has moved out of place (hernia)
  • Inflammation of the lining of the lung (pleuritis)
  • Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) or congestive heart failure

You may also need a chest X-ray:

  • As part of a complete physical exam or before you have surgery
  • To check on symptoms related to the heart or lungs
  • To see how well treatment if working or how a disease is progressing
  • To see where implanted pacemaker wires and other internal devices are
  • To check on your lungs and chest cavity after surgery

If you have any questions about having a chest X-ray, please discuss with your physician.

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