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Chest X-Ray (cont.)

Abnormal Chest X-ray Test

Many abnormalities can be detected on a chest X-ray test. Common abnormalities seen on a chest X-ray test include:

  • pneumonia (abnormally white or hazy shadow on the lung fields that would normally look dark);
  • abscess in the lung (lung abscess);
  • fluid collection between the lung and the chest wall appearing whiter than the lungs and making the sharp lung borders on the film more hazy (pleural effusion);
  • pulmonary edema (fluid build-up in the lung or its blood vessels) seen as diffuse haziness on the lung fields (for example, from congestive heart failure);
  • enlarged heart size (or cardiomegaly);
  • broken ribs or arm bones (irregularity in the structure and shape of any of the ribs or the humerus bone of the arm);
  • broken vertebrae or vertebral fractures;
  • dislocated shoulders;
  • lung cancer or other lung masses (irregular and abnormal shadow on the lung fields);
  • cavities in the lungs or cavitary lung lesions (tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, etc.);
  • abnormal presence of air between the chest wall and the lung creating a distinct black shadow (darker than the lung fields) between the border of the lung tissue and the inside border of the chest wall (pneumothorax);
  • hiatal hernia (protrusion of the upper portion of the stomach into the chest cavity); and
  • aortic aneurysm (dilated aorta - a widening of the midline of the chest overlying the vertebral column).

These are some of the common abnormal findings that can be seen on chest X-ray test. There are many other less common abnormalities that can be detected on chest X-ray tests.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/30/2014

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