Hemithorax white-out (differential)

Complete white-out of a hemithorax on the chest x-ray has a limited number of causes. The differential diagnosis can be shortened further with one simple observation: the position of the trachea. Is it central, pulled or pushed from the side of opacification? Is there pulmonary volume loss or volume gain? Is there rib crowding? Is the heart pushed or pulled?

Trachea pulled toward the opacified side
Trachea remains central in position
Pushed away from the opacified side

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Article information

rID: 1439
System: Chest
Section: Signs, Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Hemithorax opacification
  • Differential for opacified hemithorax
  • Unilateral white lung
  • White out of the hemithorax
  • Whiteout of the hemithorax

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: collapse
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  • Case 2: malignant pleural effusion
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  • Case 3: pleural effusion
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  • Case 4: Ewing sarcoma
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  •  Case 5: pneumonectomy
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  • Case 6: metastatic pleural effusion
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  • Case 7: pleural fibroma
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  • Case 8: hemothorax
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  • Case 9: pleural empyema
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  • Case 10: right main stem intubation
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  • Massive left pleu...
    Case 11: left hepatohydrothorax without ascites in a case of cirrhosis, portal hypertension and splenomegaly
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  • Case 12: left main bronchus intubation with complete right lung collapse
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  • Case 13: airway foreign body in child
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  • Case 14: Hemithorax white-out (pneumonia)
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  • Case 15: Diaphragmatic hernia
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  • Case 16: Left lung aplasia
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  • Case 17: Agenesis of right lung
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