Radiological examination consists in controlled X-rays dose penetration through certain part of the body (for example chest), with X-rays projection to perpendicular plane with X-rays detector. Emission from the lamp. X-rays before getting to the detector are partially absorbed by obstacles (tissue of the patient) located among these objects. X-rays attenuation depends on tissue cohesion and kind of tissue, what is registered by a detector. X-rays detector may be a photographic film (Roentgen plate) or special luminescent monitor – changing primary Roentgen radiation image into visible light image. Before the examination Roentgen plates are placed in light-proof cassettes between two enhancing foils (so called luminophores), which “sensitize” plate on X-rays, enabling of lowering the radiation dose. The cassette is always placed as close to the patient’s body as possible, and Roentgen lamp is placed in a certain distance (usually 2 meters). This way image deformation of various layers of the exposed body is prevented.
Preparation for the examination
No special recommendations. It is not necessary to have other examinations first.
Description of the examination
Standard X-ray image is taken when the patient is standing and undressed in the upper part of the body. To perform image in posteroanterior projection (most common projection) the patient should place his/her hands on his/her hips, Elbows brought forward, shoulders lowered and brought forward (similarly to elbows), chin up (chin is often placed on a special support), and anterior surface of the chest should adhere Roentgen cassette. The patient is told to take a deep breath and stop breathing for a moment. During that time, the chest is subjected to X-rays.
The time of single treatment is not longer than several hundreds of milliseconds. Another way of placing the patient to perform posteroanterior projection image is a position with shoulders up, hands laying on the top of the head. In lateral and angled projections the patient should turn his/her afflicted side close to the cassette, and put up his/her chin and shoulders. In some cases close before the examination the patient is asked to drink so called barium meal (it can be tasteless or with taste substances added).
What you should tell the examining person
Before the examination
- Radiological examination performed recently
Possible complications after the examination
Performing radiological examination of the chest with modern X-ray equipment does not put the patient’s health in danger and does not involve any complications. The examination can be repeated as often as necessary. It is performed in patients in all ages. Cannot be performed in pregnant women. The examination should be avoided in women in the second half of the menstruation cycle when there is a possibility of conception.
Plain chest X-ray in posteroanterior projection enables evaluation of ribs, thoracic spine, clavicles, shoulder blades, diaphragm, mediastinum (size and shape of heart and large vessels silhouette) and lung parenchyma. If there exist a need to show the area behind the heart (bottom and posterior chest area), additional chest X-ray in lateral projection is performed. Sometimes X-ray picture is performed close after administering of contrast agent, what enables better assessment of oesophagus and mediastinum (some mediastinal tumours, aneurysms, left atrial or left ventricular enlargement may lead to oesophageal deformation).
Indications for the examination
- Any conditions in the chest
- Injuries in the chest
- Developmental disorders of chest organs
- Examination before and after chest surgery
- Seasonal check-up should be made every 2 years in people with higher risk of lungs diseases resulting from e.g. the type of job done.