Normal position of diaphragms on chest radiography

Dr Tim Luijkx and Assoc Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

As a result of the heart and sub-diaphragmatic organs, the hemidiaphragms are not at the same level on frontal erect inspiratory chest radiographs, but are usually within one rib intercostal space height (~2 cm) of each other. The left hemidiaphragm is usually lower than the right. 

If the left hemidiaphragm is higher than the right or the right is higher than the left by more than 3 cm, one of the many causes of diaphragmatic elevation should be considered.


Article information

rID: 9138
System: Chest
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Normal diaphragm height
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  • Normal diaphragm height on a adult female
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