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Chest x-ray airway (summary)

This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists

Chest x-ray review is a key competency for medical students, junior doctors and other allied health professionals. Using A, B, C, D, E is a helpful and systematic method for chest x-ray review where A refers to the assessment of the airways.

Reference article

This is a summary article; we do not have a more in-depth reference article.


  • introduction
    • airway assessment often overlooked
  • procedure
    • start at the top of the film
    • find the trachea in the midline
    • trace it down to the carina
    • trace the right main bronchus
    • return the carina and trace the left main bronchus
    • the angle between the two should be between 50° and 100°
  • checklist
    • is the trachea straight and midline?
    • is there any evidence of narrowing?
    • is the carina wide (more than 100°)?
Medical student radiology curriculum

Article information

rID: 32411
System: Chest
Section: Approach
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Review the airways
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  • Trace down the tr...
    Chest x-ray - airway
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  • Trace across the ...
    Chest x-ray - airway
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