Left paraspinal line

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The left paraspinal (paraspinous or paravertebral) line is a feature of frontal chest x-rays. It is formed by the interface between the left lung and the left posterior mediastinal soft tissues 1. It is more commonly seen than the right paraspinal line.

Lateral displacement of the left paraspinal line can be due to 1-3:

Radiological appearance

Plain films
  • seen on ~35% (range 31-41%) of frontal chest x-rays 1,2
  • appears as a vertical line extending from the aortic arch to (or below) the diaphragm, typically lying medial to the lateral wall of the descending thoracic aorta but occasionally will lie lateral to the aorta 1,3

Chest x-ray
Share article

Article Information

rID: 23549
System: Chest
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Left paraspinous line
  • Left paravertebral line
  • Left paravertebral stripe
  • Left paraspinous stripe

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and Figures

  • Drag
    AP projection of ...
    Case 1: displaced by traumatic haematoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 2: bilateral paraspinal line from TB collection
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.