At North Jersey Pulmonary Associates, one of our many goals is to give patients the resources they need to understand their health, the diagnostic tests, and the procedures we perform. Although many people have heard the term chest x-ray, it’s good to know why we may recommend one and the valuable diagnostic information it can provide.
As one of the most frequently requested radiologic tests, a chest x-ray provides essential diagnostic information. For individuals experiencingsymptoms like a chronic cough, acute cough with fever, blood in their sputum, shortness of breath, or chest pain, it’s often one of the first imaging tests a physician will order.
Since chest x-ray offers a preliminary view of the lungs, heart, airway, blood vessels, lymph nodes, bones in the upper spine, and chest, it provides insights into a surprisingly long list of problems.
Some of the issues a chest x-ray can reveal include the following:
A chest x-ray can tell us if you have conditions such as pneumonia, a collapsed lung, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, calcified nodules, or cancer. Periodic x-rays can also reveal any complications, disease progression, or improvements with time.
When a chest x-ray shows fluid in your lungs, around the heart, or changes in heart size and shape, it can point to heart problems. Furthermore, since a chest x-ray can show the outlines of the large vessels near the heart, issues like aortic aneurysms and other blood vessel problems are sometimes detectable.
Calcium deposits in the heart or blood vessels, as detected on a chest x-ray, may indicate damage to the valves, coronary arteries, heart muscle, or pericardium. In comparison, calcified lung nodules are often attributable to an old, resolved infection.
Sometimes, a chest x-ray can reveal signs of ribcage injuries, spine fractures, and bone conditions like osteoporosis.
Remember, a chest x-ray is a simple, quick, and painless procedure that involves minimal radiation. And even if you need to have this test performed periodically, the exposure remains low. We will ask you to let us know if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant so that all the necessary protective measures can get taken.
At North Jersey Pulmonary Associates, we provide skilled, experienced care to precisely diagnose and treat problems affecting respiratory health and function. Based on your chest x-ray results, we’ll determine whether or not any further testing is needed to accurately diagnose your condition and provide the best options in care.
By North Jersey Pulmonary Associates
March 7, 2023