Pneumothorax in supine projection

A pneumothorax does not display classical signs when a patient is positioned supine for a chest radiograph. Instead, the pneumothorax may be demonstrated by looking for the following signs:

  • relative lucency of the involved hemithorax
  • deep, sometimes tongue-like, costophrenic sulcus: deep sulcus sign 2
  • increased sharpness of the adjacent mediastinal margin and diaphragm
  • increased sharpness of the cardiac borders
  • visualisation of the anterior costophrenic sulcus: double diaphragm sign 3
  • visualisation of the inferior edge of the collapsed lung above the diaphragm
  • depression of the ipsilateral hemidiaphragm
Share article

Article information

rID: 4994
Systems: Chest, Trauma
Sections: Signs, Gamuts
Tag: stub
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Pneumothorax in supine patient
  • Supine pneumothorax

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Figure 1: pneumothorax in supine position
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Deep sulcus sign
    Case 3: with deep sulcus sign
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 4: sharp right hemidiaphragm
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 5
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

    Alert accept

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

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.