Clavicle (AP view)

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 23 Mar 2023

The clavicle AP view is a standard projection part of the clavicle series. The projection demonstrates the shoulder in its natural anatomical position allowing for adequate radiographic examination of the entire clavicle.

The AP clavicle is often indicated in patients with suspected clavicular injuries following trauma such as falling onto ones side. It can be requested as part of a concentrated radiograph to assess for metastasis or multiple myeloma. It is seldom conducted in isolation, often part one of the two part clavicle series. It is an ideal projection to asses the AC joint although not so ideal to inspect the sternoclavicular joint (see sternoclavicular joint series for a better alternative).

  • patient is preferably erect
  • the midcoronal plane of the patient is parallel to the image receptor, in other words, the patient's back is against the image receptor
  • the clavicle of the affected side is at the center of the image receptor
  • affected arm is in a neutral position by the patient side
  • anteroposterior projection
  • centering point
    • mid clavicle  
  • collimation
    • superior to the skin margins
    • inferior to include mid scapula 
    • lateral to include the skin margin
    • medial to include the sternoclavicular joint
  • orientation  
    • landscape
  • detector size
    • 18 cm x 24 cm
  • exposure
    • 60-70 kVp
    • 10-18 mAs
  • SID
    • 100 cm
  • grid
    • yes (this can vary departmentally)
  • the entire clavicle is visual alongside the glenoid cavity and scapular in the AP position
  • a slight overlap of the humeral head with the glenoid

The technical factors of this examination are not particularly demanding, and there is not much room for positioning error other than over or under rotation. 
Just ensure there is no overlap of the clavicle due to over rotation. 

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