Chest x-ray - an approach (basic)
This is a basic article for medical students and non-radiologists
Chest x-ray review is a key competency for medical students, junior doctors and other allied health professionals. Chest radiographs are frequently performed and a fantastic tool for making diagnoses of acute and chronic conditions, as well as acting as a tool for follow up.
There are many systematic ways to review a chest x-ray. The important thing is to get into the habit of having a systematic approach. If you do the same thing every time you look at a chest x-ray, you will be much less likely to make a mistake.
Start off the same way each time you look at a film. Every time you look at an x-ray or other scan, think about:
- who, what, why, where and when
- lines and tubes
Read in more depth: initial review
A, B, C, D, E
One of the easiest systems for reviewing a chest x-ray is A, B, C, D, E (using the same headings as ALS (advanced life support):