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Apical zone

Dr Owen Kang and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The apical zone is one of the four chest radiograph zones and an important location for missed diagnoses when reporting a frontal chest radiograph and makes up one of the "check areas". It is sometimes thought of as a subdivision of the upper zone

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph
  • portion of the lungs that lie above the inferior margin of the clavicles on a frontal chest radiograph (see Figure 1) 2

Related pathology

The apices and upper zones are preferentially affected by pathology that is related to inhalation. The upper portion of the lungs have a positive ventilation mismatch when compared to the bases, where there is preferential perfusion. Common conditions involving the apical zone include:


Article information

rID: 13649
System: Chest
Section: Approach
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Apices
  • Apical zones
  • Apical region
  • Apical regions

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: apical zone highlighted
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  • Case 1: normal chest x-ray
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