Sternoclavicular joint (PA view)

The sternoclavicular PA view is part of the plain radiographic series assessing the sternoclavicular joint. The projection produces a bilateral view of the sternoclavicular joints in the posteroanterior plane.

  • the patient is preferably laid prone with arms resting above the head. However, this projection can be mimicked erect.
  • posteroanterior projection
  • centering point
    • centered at the level of the second to third thoracic vertebra at the midline
  • collimation
    • laterally to include the medical third of both clavicles 
    • inferior to include the sternoclavicular joints and part of the manubrium 
    • superior to include the entirety of the sternoclavicular joint
  • orientation  
    • landscape
  • detector size
    • 24 cm x 18 cm
  • exposure
    • 60-70 kVp
    • 10-30 mAs
  • SID
    • 100 cm
  • breathing
    • suspended expiration
  • grid
    • yes (this can vary departmentally)
  • both sternoclavicular joints are clearly evident
  • when assessing for rotation, the spinous processes should be an equal distance from each sternoclavicular joint
  • the most challenging aspect when performing this projection is collimation; collimation must be tight to avoid scatter thus decreasing the image quality. Time should be taken to ensure the image is collimated appropriately.
  • patients may find it uncomfortable to lay prone, and this can be alleviated via placing a pillow under the patient's knees and head. 
  • the projection can be performed erect, be wary of the patients' movement 
Radiographic views

Article information

rID: 54296
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: PA view
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