Why It Is Done
A chest X-ray is done to:
- Help find the cause of common symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain.
- Find lung conditions—such as pneumonia, lung cancer, Reference chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Opens New Window, collapsed lung (Reference pneumothorax Opens New Window), or Reference cystic fibrosis Opens New Window—and monitor treatment for these conditions.
- Find some heart problems, such as an enlarged heart, Reference heart failure Opens New Window, and problems causing fluid in the lungs (Reference pulmonary edema Opens New Window), and to monitor treatment for these conditions.
- Look for problems from a chest injury, such as rib fractures or lung damage.
- Reference Find foreign objects Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window, such as coins or other small pieces of metal, in the tube to the stomach (esophagus), the airway, or the lungs. A chest X-ray may not be able to see food, nuts, or wood fibers. .
- See if a tube, catheter, or other medical device has been placed in the proper position in an airway, the heart, blood vessels of the chest, or the stomach.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 11, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology