Correct chest radiograph terminology

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Correct chest radiograph terminology is very helpful when describing pathology.  It is especially important when describing findings to colleagues (radiologist or not) or when describing a film in a radiology exam.

Terms to avoid

There are some terms that will drive people wild!  Steer clear of them at all costs:

  • shadowing: your medical and surgical colleagues might talk about shadowing, but it sounds better if you use the synonymous radiological term, opacification
  • fields: describing pathology in the left upper lung field could drive people over the edge so its probably better to describe pathology in a zone, not a field

Be specific

Don't use terms loosely.  As a radiologist, we are supposed to describe accurately and specifically.  However, many terms get used interchangably even though they aren't synonymous:

  • opacification: increased density
  • consolidation: a description of the solidification of lung parenchyma because of airspace pathology - it is not a specific term for infection
    • patchy consolidation
    • confluent consolidation
  • more to come...
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Article Information

rID: 16955
System: Chest
Tags: jeremy, exam
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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