Unilateral hypertranslucent hemithorax

Unilateral hypertranslucent hemithorax has many potential causes. It may be the result of rotation away from an optimal position or because of pathology.

Rotation

A unilateral hypertranslucent hemithorax may be caused by the positioning of the patient. Rotation away from the radiation beam alters the attenuation of the beam differently on either side of the thorax. When the patient is turned to the right, the right side will be hypertranslucent.  

Pathology

Where rotation isn't thought to be the cause of the differential transradiancy, it may be useful to consider the potential causes by the structures they involve, in the order in which the radiation beam hit them. The age of the patient is also a factor that should be considered.

A helpful mnemonic is SAFEPOEM.

Chest wall defect
Pleura and pleural space
Mediastinal
Pulmonary (ventilation)
Vascular (perfusion)
Share Article

Article Information

rID: 4996
System: Chest
Section: Approach
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Transradiant hemithorax
  • Unilateral hemithorax lucency
  • Unilateral hyperlucent hemithorax

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

  • Drag
    Left Mastectomy
    Case 1: mastectomy
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 2: compensatory hyperinflation
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 3: pneumothorax
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Poland syndrome
    Case 4: Poland syndrome
    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.