X-Ray Chest PA And Lateral
A chest PA Lateral X-ray is a radiograph of the thoracic cavity, ordered to examine the lungs, chest cavity and its divisions (such as the mediastinum cavity) as well as the great vessels of the heart. This procedure is the most commonly performed diagnostic X-ray examination. This X-ray series consists of two views, the PA view and the lateral view.
Why do you need this X-ray?
Chest PA Lateral series X-rays are the most commonly ordered diagnostic examination to produce images of the heart, vessels. the bones of the spine and chest, the lungs, and airways. Since the exam is also non-invasive, the PA and lateral view are used in conjunction to diagnose several acute and chronic conditions involving the thoracic cavity and spine. This procedure is done to evaluate the pathologies of the thoracic cavity. However, more diagnostic imaging, tests, and more physical exams may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Besides being used to examine many different conditions, this procedure serves as a highly useful radiograph to diagnose acute gastric pain patients. This procedure is beneficial as a perforated ulcer most commonly causes this and patients need immediate surgery.
When do you need to get it?
Chest PA Lateral X-rays are the most common exam ordered in emergency rooms. This X-ray is the first procedure you will have if your doctor suspects you have lung or heart disease. Your doctor may order this exam if they suspect the following:
- Respiratory disease
- Heart disease
- Pulmonary embolism
- Rib fractures
- Fluid in your lungs
- Chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema.
Your doctor may also order X-ray to check on various factors that can affect your health:
- Size of your heart and vessels
- Calcium present in your vessels
- Recovery post-surgery
- Presence of foreign inhaled bodies
- The correct placement of a pacemaker, defibrillator, or catheter post-insertion.
Do you need to prepare for this X-ray?
There are no special preparations required for a Chest PA Lateral view X-ray. However, it is crucial to tell the X-ray technician if you are pregnant.
The procedure will require you to remove your clothing and put on a hospital gown. Additionally, they will ask you to remove accessories and jewelry from the waist up, such as earrings, piercings, glasses, hairpins.
You must remove all metal objects since metal can obscure the image and disrupt test results. You should also tell the X-ray technician if you have surgically implanted devices such as pacemakers or artificial heart valves.
What can you expect from this X-ray?
You can expect two projections in this procedure, PA (front) view and lateral (side) view. The X-ray technician will inform you how your body needs to be positioned for each view.
- The PA or posteroanterior view is the standard frontal chest view. This projection is the most commonly ordered chest X-ray. It is used to examine the entire thoracic cavity, including an accurate depiction of heart size. For this, the X-ray technician will ask you to stand against the detector, hold your arms up and shift your shoulders forward. You may even be asked to put your hands on the hips' posterior aspect, flex your elbows, or place your hands on the image receptor in a hugging motion.
- The lateral view is a profile view of the thoracic cavity. This projection is used in cases with diagnostic uncertainty and helps locate and diagnose suspected chest issues when used in conjunction with a PA view X-ray. This view is commonly used to view the pleural cavity for effusions. For this projection, the technician will ask you to stand perpendicular to the detector and extend your arms upwards, and chin raised. The technician may ask you to suspend respiration for some time, allowing your heart and lungs to show up better on an X-ray.
What do your X-ray results mean?
Your doctor or radiologist will use your X-rays to look for signs in the radiograph that may indicate if you have heart failure, fluid around your heart or lungs, cancer, pneumonia, or another condition.
Your physician can then discuss the results of your X-ray with you and describe what treatments and tests, or procedures may be necessary.
Frequently ordered together
X-Ray Chest Apical Lordotic View
X-Ray Chest Oblique Projection
X-Ray Chest PA
X-Ray Chest 2V Front and Lat AP
X-Ray Chest 2V Front and Lat Oblique
X-Ray Chest Complete Min 4V
X-Ray Chest Special Views
X-Ray Chest 1V
X-Ray Chest 2V front and lat
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