Chest radiograph

Dr Ian Bickle and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The chest radiograph (CXR) is the most ubiquitous radiological investigation.

The chest radiograph is performed for a broad content of indications, including but not limited to 1-4:

Standard projections
  • PA view
  • lateral view
    • performed erect left lateral 
    • ideal for localisation of suspected lung lesions when taken in conjunction with the PA view
    • examines the retrosternal and retrocardiac spaces 
Additional projections

Other forms of the chest radiographs are performed in a variety of clinical scenarios, usually if the patient is unable to tolerate a standing PA radiograph:

  • AP erect
    • sitting up on the bed; can be performed outside the radiology department, by a mobile X-ray unit
  • supine
    •  usually for trauma and ICU patients
  • lateral decubitus
  • expiration view
    •  for pneumothorax and air trapping due to inhaled foreign bodies
  • lordotic view
    • demonstrates areas of the lung apices that appear obscured on the PA/AP chest radiographic views
  • right anterior oblique (RAO)/left anterior oblique (LAO) view
    •  for rib fractures and intrathoracic lesions (LAO also used routinely used in barium oesophagography)
  • ribs AP view
    • for suspected posterior rib fractures 

The patient should be asked to remove all clothing and jewellery from the waist up and dress in a hospital gown. Long hair should be worn up.

Chest x-ray
Radiographic views
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Article Information

rID: 14511
System: Chest
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • CXR
  • Frontal chest radiograph
  • Chest x ray
  • Lateral chest radiograph
  • PA CXR
  • AP CXR
  • Chest x-ray
  • Chest radiographs
  • Chest x-rays
  • Chest Tele-Roentgenogram

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Cases and Figures

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    Case 1: normal PA chest
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    Case 2: annotated PA
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    Case 3: PA inspiratory
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    Case 4: PA expiratory
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    PA and lateral ch...
    Case 5: lateral chest
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    Case 6: supine
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    Case 7: lateral decubitus
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