Chest x-ray: lines and tubes (summary)

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Chest x-ray lines and tubes can be easily assessed and should be the first thing that you look at when reviewing a chest x-ray. Assessment of their position is important, but they also give you an idea about how sick the patient is and narrow the differential diagnosis.

Reference article

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Summary

  • always check lines and tubes first
    • ECG wires
      • thin, dense and attached to ECG stickers on the chest
    • oxygen tubing
      • often draped across the centre of the x-ray
    • oxygen mask/nebuliser
      • may be projected over the top of the x-ray
    • NG tube
    • ETT tube
    • central line, e.g. EJV line or PICC
    • cardiac devices, e.g. pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator
Medical student radiology curriculum
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Article information

rID: 42669
System: Chest
Section: Approach
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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