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Posterior (PA) Projection

Either left or righ lateral radiograph taken with the patient standing up, with the lungs full inspiration

Anteroposterior (AP) Radiograph

obtained at the patients bedside when a patient is seriously ill or immobilized

what are the disadvantages of the AP radiograph

the heart and mediastinum are significantly magnified, has less resolution and more distortion

Laterial radiograph

taken with the side of the patient pressed against the cassette with arms raised

Lateral decubitus radiograph

obtained by having the patient lie on the side ratheer than having them stand in an upright position, useful when diagnosis of a suspected or known fluid accumulation in the plural space is not easily seen in the PA radiograph.


a superficial air cyst protruding into the pleura, also called a bulla


an outline of air-containing bronchi beyond the normal point of visibility. It develops as a result of an infiltration or consolidation that surrounds the bronchi, producing a contrasting air column on the radiograph-it appears as dark tubes surrounded by a white area produced by the infiltration or consolidation


a large thin walled radiolucent area surrounded by normal lung tissue


a radiolucent (dark) area surrounded by dense tissue (white) a cavity is the hallmark of a lung abscess.


the act of becoming solid; commonly used to describe the solidification of the lung caused by a pathologic engorcement of the alveoli, as occurs in acute pneumonia

interstitial density

a density caused by interstital thickening


any poorly defined radiodensity (white area) commonly used to describe an inflammatory lesion


state of being opague (white) an opague area or spot, impervious to light rays, or by extensions, x-rays; opposite of translucent or radiolucent


dense areas that appear white on the radiograph


the state of being radiolucent; the property of being partly or wholly permeable to x-rays commonly used to describe darker areas on a radiograph such as an emphysematous lung or pneumothorax


permitting the passage of light, commonly used to describe darker areas of the radiograph.

silhouette sign

replacement of normal air adjacent to the structures of the thorax causing a loss of contrast -aorta, heart, diaphragms

air bronchogram

normal air-filled bronchus surrounded by a lung with increased density. May appear as a dark circle or dark branching. Good indicator that consolidation is in the lung and not the pleura

ground glass appearance

diffuse, sometimes called an alveolar process, and represents alveolar filing at a microscopic level. Hazy appearance looks like ground glass-associated with rds

penciling or steepling

seen with croup it is an airway narrowing

thumb sign

seen with epiglottis swollen epiglottis looks like a thumb

sail sign

it is the thymus gland in infants

ivory heart sign

left lower lung collapse

butterfly or batwing pattern

seen in pulmonary edema with chf looks like a butterfly or batwings

computed tomography (CT)

provides a series of cross sectional pictures (tomograms) of the structures within the body at numerous levels. Helpful in confirming the presence of mediastinal mass, small pulmonary nodule, small lesions of tthe bronchi,a small pneuumothorax, plural effusionss and small tumors

positron emission tomography (PET)

shows both anatomic structures and the metabolic activity of the tissues and organs scanned, good for early detection of cancerous lesions

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

uses magnetic resonance as its source of energy to take cross-sectional images of the body. can detect subtle lesions.

Pulmonary angiography

uses an injected radiopaque contrast medium to detect a pulmonary emboli

Ventilation-Perfusion (V/Q) scan

used to detect a pulmonary embolism. Dark areas show good blood flow and white or lighter areas show decreased blood flow


takes x ray motion pictures to localize lesions to be biopsied


provides a bronchogram and is used to diagnose bronchgenic carcinoma and determine the presencee or extent of bronchiectasis (has been replaced with the CT Scan

what are signs of a pnemothorax in a xray

trachea shift, hyperinflation, flatened diaphragm on infected side, absence of lung marking/radiolucent, vertical line on the pleura

Signs of Pulmonary Edima with CHF

enlarged heart, butterfly or batwing, increase in CT ratio, increase in interstitial marking and enlarged pulmonary artery

signs of adealectases

fisherlines, narrowing of the rib cage, elevated hemodypharm, medistine trachea deviation toward affected side, plate like or wedge like density

signs of emphasima

radiolucent, increase in ap diameter, blebs or bulla, depressed or flattened diaphragm, pengalim heart (shifted towaard the midline) wideing off the intercostal spaces

signs of pleural infusion

blunting of the clostrafrenic angle, radiopaque, mediastinal trachea shift, partial or complete obscuring of the hemadiagphram, meniscus sign

signs of ARDS (respiratory distress syndrome)

ground glass, increase of lung marking

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