Review areas on chest radiograph

Last revised by Dr Henry Knipe on 23 May 2021

Review areas on a chest radiograph are common areas for missed findings, and special attention should be paid to them:

  1. lung apices: masses (e.g. Pancoast tumor), pneumothorax
  2. behind the heart: consolidation, masses, hiatus hernia 2
  3. below the diaphragm: free gas, lines and tubes (e.g. nasogastric tube), gastric distension, bowel obstruction
  4. bones and soft tissues: fractures, masses, mastectomy, subcutaneous emphysema, evidence of previous surgery (e.g. axillary clips)

These first four are the classic review areas ref, sometimes the pulmonary hilum is included as an additional fifth region:

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: retrocardiac consolidation
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