Hair and hair band artifacts on chest radiograph

Case contributed by Dr Kumar Venu Madhav Ramavathu

Presentation

Cough for the last 6 weeks ? cause. Non-smoker.

Patient Data

Age: 10 years
Gender: Female

Plain radiographs of the chest: The first radiograph shows a band like hazy opacity over the medial right lung and a further coil-spring like opacity adjacent to the right heart border- these correspond to artifacts from hair and hair-band respectively. These were promptly identified by the radiographer and the second radiograph is a repeat study after removing the artifacts. 

Case Discussion

Artifacts from clothing, jewelry and hair are occasionally spotted on radiographs. Lucent artifacts like skin fold and hair are difficult to spot compared to radiopaque artifacts. Artifacts from hair mimic surgical emphysema and skin folds may be misinterpreted as a pneumothorax.

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