Chest x-ray lines and stripes

Dr Vikas Shah and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Chest x-ray lines and stripes are important to recognise on chest radiographs

Lines are usually less than 1mm in width and are comprised of tissue outlined on either side by air and typically represent pleural-covered structures within the middle and superior mediastinum 1, 2:

Stripes, on the other hand, are thicker than lines, and are seen when these thicker anatomical structures are outlined by air  1, 2:

A third important part of chest x-ray lines and stripes are the interfaces, which are the borders of solid structures with air 2:

Recognition of any abnormality in the various lines and stripes on chest x-ray is invaluable in ensuring the appropriateness in further investigation with CT.1

Chest x-ray
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Article information

rID: 14453
System: Chest
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • CXR lines and stripes
  • Chest xray lines and stripes
  • Chest x ray lines and stripes

Cases and figures

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    Junctional lines
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    Azygo-oesophageal recess
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