Gastric bubble

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 28 Oct 2019

The gastric bubble is a radiolucent rounded area generally nestled under the left hemidiaphragm representing gas in the fundus of the stomach.

On a lateral radiograph, the gastric bubble is usually located between the abdominal wall and spine. It can be seen on chest or abdominal plain films. It is seen on approximately 70% of normal chest radiographs.

An important differential is pneumoperitoneum, which is usually easily distinguishable as a thin radiolucent crescent under the hemidiaphragm. 

In situs inversus, the normal gastric bubble is located under the right hemidiaphragm.

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