Chest x-ray uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the chest. It is used to evaluate the lungs, heart and chest wall and may be used to help diagnose shortness of breath, persistent cough, fever, chest pain or injury. It also may be used to help diagnose and monitor treatment for a variety of lung conditions such as pneumonia, emphysema and cancer. Because chest x-ray is fast and easy, it is particularly useful in emergency diagnosis and treatment. The chest x-ray is the most commonly performed diagnostic x-ray examination. A chest x-ray produces images of the heart, lungs, airways, blood vessels and the bones of the spine and chest.
An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.
The following are some steps that are to be taken in order to prepare for an X-Ray ( XRay ) test:
X-Rays ( XRays ) are standard tests for which you wonâ??t need to do any major preparations. However the doctor may ask you to wear loose and comfortable clothing, depending upon the part which is to be examined.
You may be required to remove jewellery items or other accessories/metallic items.
You must inform the doctor if you have had any prior surgeries or metal implants. This is important since these implants can block the rays from passing through and creating good images.
In case of X-Ray ( XRay ) of the gastrointestinal tract, doctors may ask you to fast for a few hours before the test. Certain medicines too are given to clear the bowels properly beforehand.
A chest x-ray examination itself is a painless procedure.
You may experience discomfort from the cool temperature in the examination room and the coldness of the recording plate. Individuals with arthritis or injuries to the chest wall, shoulders or arms may have discomfort trying to stay still during the examination. The technologist will assist you in finding the most comfortable position possible that still ensures diagnostic image quality.
The entire chest x-ray examination, from positioning to obtaining and verifying the images, is usually completed within 15 minutes. Additional views may be required within hours, days or months to evaluate any changes in the chest.
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In an emergency, the results of a chest X-ray can be available within a few minutes for review by your doctor. If it is not an emergency, results are usually ready in 1 or 2 days. Normal: The lungs look normal in size and shape, and the lung tissue looks normal.
A chest X-ray produces a black-and-white image that shows the organs in your chest. Structures that block radiation appear white, and structures that let radiation through appear black.
Your bones appear white because they are very dense. Your heart also appears as a lighter area. Your lungs are filled with air and block very little radiation, so they appear as darker areas on the images.
A radiologist ? a doctor trained to interpret X-rays and other imaging exams ? analyzes the images, looking for clues that may suggest if you have heart failure, fluid around your heart, cancer, pneumonia or another condition.
Your own doctor will discuss the results with you as well as what treatments or other tests or procedures may be necessary.
No radiation remains in a patient's body after an x-ray examination. X-rays usually have no side effects in the typical diagnostic range for this exam. X-ray equipment is relatively inexpensive and widely available in emergency rooms, physician offices, ambulatory care centers, nursing homes and other locations, making it convenient for both patients and physicians. Because x-ray imaging is fast and easy, it is particularly useful in emergency diagnosis and treatment.
The chest x-ray is performed to evaluate the lungs, heart and chest wall.
A chest x-ray is typically the first imaging test used to help diagnose symptoms such as:
- breathing difficulties
- a bad or persistent cough
- chest pain or injury
Physicians use the examination to help diagnose or monitor treatment for conditions such as:
- heart failure and other heart problems
- lung cancer
- positioning of medical devices
- fluid or air collection around the lungs
- other medical conditions
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