What Is A Chest Radiograph
Also known as a chest X-ray, a chest radiograph uses an X-ray beam. It is considered the best general technique for looking at the lungs, the chest cavity, and the area around the lungs.1,2
To undergo a chest X-ray, you will typically stand in front of a wall-mounted device that holds the X-ray film or a plate that digitally records the image. For the first view, you will probably be asked to stand with your hands on your hips, with your chest pressed against the image plate. For a second view, you may be asked to elevate your arms.3
During the procedure, the X-ray machine emits a small burst of radiation that goes through the body, recording an image. The entire procedure takes only about 15 minutes. When you are finished, you may be asked to wait until the radiologist lets you know that all the needed images have been obtained.3
The majority of people with asthma will have a chest radiograph. However, if you have difficult-to-treat or severe asthma, then a CT scan may be ordered.
Relating Structure And Function To Clinical Parameters
Airway remodeling is a term used to describe increased airway wall thickness in patients with asthma. This condition encompasses a range of processes including mucous gland hyperplasia, smooth muscle hypertrophy, inflammatory cell infiltration, and collagen deposition . CT has been used to evaluate the extent of airway wall thickening . Wall area percentage and wall thickness percentage measured by CT were increased in patients with severe asthma and correlated with airway epithelial thickness on endobronchial biopsies. Not only did airway measurements correlate with pathology, clinical correlations were apparent as well. Patients with increased WA% and WT% had a lower FEV1 and greater bronchodilator response . A separate study found a significant correlation between WA and asthma control score for all bronchi and WA/BSA in the subsegmental bronchi only . These imaging characteristics can help characterize asthmatic phenotypes and differentiate between severe and non-severe disease as those with severe disease exhibited increased airway remodeling.
What Will An X
One of the signs of COPD that may show up on an X-ray are hyperinflated lungs. This means the lungs appear larger than normal. Also, the diaphragm may look lower and flatter than usual, and the heart may look longer than normal.
An X-ray in COPD may not reveal as much if the condition is primarily chronic bronchitis. But with emphysema, more structural problems of the lungs can be seen on an X-ray.
For example, an X-ray may reveal bullae. In the lungs, a bullae are a pocket of air that forms near the surface of the lungs. Bullae can get quite large and take up significant space within the lung.
Small bullae are called blebs. These are typically not seen on a chest X-ray because of their small size.
If a bullae or bleb ruptures, air can escape out of the lung causing it to collapse. This is known as a spontaneous pneumothorax, and it requires urgent medical treatment. Symptoms are typically sharp chest pain and increased or new breathing difficulties.
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Situations That Require A Chest X
If youve ever had chest pain, you know its not fun. If youve ever had a nasty cough that wont go away, you understand misery. Situations like these that involve the chest often require diagnostic tests like x-rays. Luckily, urgent care centers like GoHealth Urgent Care offer quick, painless X-ray services that can identify the problem fast so you can get better.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, chest x-rays are the most common x-ray test used to diagnose health problems. But what health problems result in the need for a chest x-ray? Lets find out:
How Is Asthma Diagnosed
To diagnose asthma, your doctor will review your medical history, family history, and symptoms. He or she will be interested in any history of breathing problems you might have had, as well as a family history of asthma or other lung conditions, allergies, or a skin disease called eczema. It is important that you describe your symptoms in detail , including when and how often they occur.
Your doctor will also perform a physical examination and listen to your heart and lungs.
There are many tests your doctor might perform, including pulmonary function tests, allergy tests, blood tests, and chest and sinus X-rays. All of these tests help your doctor determine if asthma is indeed present and if there are other conditions affecting it.
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Depression And Anxiety Scores
These questionnaires are used to find out how having severe asthma is affecting you emotionally. In an Asthma UK survey, 68% of people with severe asthma said theyd had anxiety and 52% of people with severe asthma said they felt depressed.
Because asthma symptoms that affect your quality of life can be worrying and get you down, its important for your healthcare team to understand how youre feeling, says Dr Andy.
If youre seeing an asthma specialist to diagnose or rule out severe asthma, they will usually consider screening you for anxiety and depression often using these questionnaires. For some people with asthma, treating the depression and anxiety can have a big impact on your symptoms and how they affect you.
Evidence shows that people with low mood or anxiety can find it harder to control their asthma symptoms, says Dr Andy. Its important that your asthma specialist and healthcare team have a good understanding of how youre feeling so they can give you the support you need.
Next review due March 2022
What Are Other Conditions A Doctor Might Test For In Someone With Asthma
There are some medical conditions that might make asthma harder to treat and control. Two of these conditions are sinusitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly called GERD and known as heartburn. If you are diagnosed with asthma, your doctor might also test you for these conditions so that they can be treated.
Sinusitis, also called sinus infection, is an inflammation or swelling of the sinuses due to infection. When the sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, bacteria grow, causing infection and inflammation. Your doctor might order a special X-ray, called a CT scan, to evaluate your sinuses if he or she suspects an infection. Once acute sinusitis is diagnosed, you will be treated with antibiotics for at least 10 to 12 days.
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Can A Chest X
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What Are The Risks Of A Chest X
Chest X-rays expose the patient briefly to a minimum amount of radiation. Any radiation exposure has some risk to the tissues of the body. The radiation exposure in a chest X-ray is minimized by the type of X-ray high-speed film, which does not require as much radiation exposure as in the past. The radiology technician is guided by technique standards which have been established by national and international guidelines. These guidelines are designed and reviewed by both the Department of Health and Human Services and national and international radiology protection councils.
Women who are pregnant, especially in early pregnancy, should notify their physicians, as the fetus is at risk for harm with any radiology technique. X-rays are typically avoided in pregnant patients unless absolutely necessary, in which case the patient’s abdomen is covered with a special lead gown to block the radiation from the fetus.
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Preparing For A Chest X
You dont need to do much to prepare for your X-ray. Youll wear a hospital gown instead of regular clothes. A lead apron may be provided to protect your reproductive organs from the radiation used to take the X-ray.
Youll also have to remove any jewelry that could interfere with the screening.
A chest X-ray may be done while youre standing up or lying down. It depends on your symptoms. Typically, a chest X-ray is performed while you are standing.
If your doctor is concerned that you have fluid around your lungs, called a pleural effusion, they may want to see additional images of your lungs while lying on your side.
But usually there are two images taken: one from the front and another from the side. The images are available immediately for the doctor to review.
Other Tests For Conditions That May Mimic Asthma
There are some medical conditions that often make asthma harder to treat and control, in addition to being asthma mimics. These include allergies and GERD. If you are diagnosed with asthma, your doctor might also test you for these conditions, or treat them for several weeks to see if your asthma symptoms also improve.
For more information on allergies, GERD, and other triggers, see Causes of Asthma.
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How Is The Chest X
Patients obtaining a chest X-ray will often be requested to use an X-ray gown, and extra metallic objects such as jewelry are removed from the chest and/or neck areas. These objects can block X-ray penetration, making the result less accurate. Patients may be asked to take a deep breath and hold it during the chest X-ray in order to inflate the lungs to their maximum, which increases the visibility of different tissues within the chest.
The chest X-ray procedure often involves a view from the back to the front of the body as well as a view from the side. The view from the side is called a lateral chest X-ray. Occasionally, different angles are added in order for the radiologist to interpret certain specific areas of the chest.
The radiology technologist or technician is a trained, certified assistant to the radiologist who will help the patient during the X-ray and actually perform the X-ray test procedure. After the chest X-ray is taken and recorded on the X-ray film, the film is placed into a developing machine, and this picture is examined and interpreted by the radiologist.
Symptom And Quality Of Life Scores
These tests involve filling out questionnaires to find out what symptoms youre experiencing and the different ways asthma may be affecting your life.;
In an Asthma UK survey, 91% of people said their severe asthma had an impact on everyday things, such as their ability to exercise, their family and social life, their work or school life and their holidays. In the same survey 82% of people said theyd experienced sleep loss and 66% had gained weight.
If your asthma symptoms mean you cant do things you used to be able to do, such as exercise or play with your children, these scores will help your asthma specialist find out how asthma is affecting your life, says Dr Andy. Theyre also a useful way to monitor how well your asthma treatments are working.
Asthma specialists use these tests to:
- give them a clearer picture of your asthma symptoms
- show them how asthma may be limiting your activities
- reveal how youre coping with the challenges of having frequent asthma symptoms
- work out your response to longer-term treatment trials.
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What If Its Not Copd
Chest discomfort can be caused by other conditions aside from COPD. If your chest X-ray doesnt show noticeable signs of COPD, your doctor will examine it for other possible issues.
A chest X-ray can provide valuable information about your heart and blood vessels, like heart size, blood vessel size, signs of fluid around the heart, and calcifications or hardening of valves and blood vessels.
It can also reveal broken ribs or other problems with the bones in and around the chest, all of which can cause chest pain.
Why Would I Need A Chest Ct For Asthma
A chest CT scan is currently the gold standard to make a diagnosis of asthma, as well as to look for any complications. If you have chronic asthma symptoms or if your symptoms keep recurring, this scan can help doctors pinpoint a diagnosis.1
For example, a CT scan can be helpful in diagnosing allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis , a condition associated with asthma. ABPA is most common in people with longstanding asthma. It has symptoms that are very similar to asthma, like wheezing, shortness of breath, weight loss, and fatigue.5-7
A CT scan can also be helpful in detecting health conditions that can seem like asthma. Another possible condition that your doctor may want to rule out with a CT scan is bronchiectasis. Bronchiectasis causes your bronchial tubes to become thickened from inflammation. It can cause periodic flare-ups of breathing difficulties.5
CT scans are used to check for complications of asthma and to rule out other health conditions. In the future, these and other imaging scans may also be useful in providing personalized asthma care.1
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Who Gets Vocal Chord Dysfunction
Vocal chord dysfunction is more common among patients with anxiety and depression and has even been thought of as a conversion disorder. Vocal chord dysfunction is more common in adolescent girls and women.
Adolescent girls: Among teen girls, symptoms occur more commonly in athletes, almost always with increased intensity of exercise and during competition. In addition, these girls tend to be academic high achievers as well.
Older women: The other general group that seems to develop symptoms are middle-aged women with a history of psychiatric illness or major psychological trauma. Interestingly, increased numbers of people developing vocal chord dysfunction are employed in a health-related field.
Vocal chord dysfunction is primarily treated with speech therapy. While it is important to discontinue any unnecessary medications, this needs to be done gradually ad in consultation with your doctor.
When To See A Specialist About Your Asthma
Asthma is not always easy to diagnose, Fineman says, but you should see your doctor if youre having repeated episodes of wheezing and coughing or shortness of breath. If you’re diagnosed with the condition, work with your doctor to develop an asthma management and;action plan.
Although your primary care doctor may be able to diagnose and;treat your asthma, if your symptoms dont respond to a first-line therapy of inhaled corticosteroids and short-acting bronchodilators, Asciuto recommends that you see a lung specialist or allergy and asthma specialist.
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What Can Be Seen On A Normal Chest X
Normal chest X-ray shows normal size and shape of the chest wall and the main structures in the chest.
As described earlier, white shadows on the chest X-ray signify solid structures and fluids such as, bone of the rib cage, vertebrae, heart, aorta, and bones of the shoulders. The dark background on the chest X-rays represents air filled lungs. These lung fields are seen on either side of the heart and the vertebrae located in the center of the film.
Tests For Other Conditions
The doctor may also do tests for other conditions that can make asthma worse, like:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
The Canadian Lung Association: “Signs and Symptoms of Asthma: Diagnosis.”
National Jewish Medical and Research Center: “How Is Asthma Diagnosed?”
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “About Asthma: Diagnosing Asthma.”
Mayo Clinic: âAsthma: Steps in testing and diagnosis.â
Medscape: âAsthma Guidelines.â
American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology: “What to expect at the doctor’s office.”
American Lung Association: “Spirometry and Other Lung Function Tests Fact Sheet.”
American Medical Association: Essential Guide to Asthma.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Peak Flow Meters.”
Grayson, M. ACP Medicine, 2005.
National Asthma Education and Prevention Program: “Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma — 2002.”
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “Asthma: How is Asthma Diagnosed?”
MedlinePlus: “Pulmonary Function Tests.”
National Lung Health Education Program: “Spirometry.”
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What Are Reasons For Ordering Chest X
There are many reasons why doctors order chest X-rays. Frequently, they are ordered for symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, or chest pain. However, there are many other signs and symptoms that may prompt a doctor to order chest X-rays. They may also be done as a routine check examination.
Sometimes chest X-rays are required before operations to see if there is any evidence of heart or lung disease that may need to be addressed before the procedure. This is called a pre-operative chest X-ray .
Asthma Uk Community Forum
Ok folks why would you have a chest xray because you have asthma? I just had one as my asthma hasnt yet resolved and on third lot of rescue steriods. What are they looking for? Chest is still sore indicating airways still inflamed. Result in two days.
They are looking for other problems. X-rays can show up all sorts of things that might be either triggering asthma or a problem in themselves. It’s a sensible precaution if you are not improving with routine asthma treatment.
I hope you soon feel better anyway.
So they are looking for problem with your lungs to see what condition your lung are in. I understand that asthma can damage your lungs with scaring
An x-ray won’t show that level of detail; you’d need a CT-scan for that. The x-ray would show up things like serious infections, etc. I’m not an expert on this though so only basing it on my own experiences.
Thanks for the input you only can speak from your own experience. Roll on thursday when I get the answer. Only still 60-70% better at the moment. Need to be fully recovered before I know my GP will be satisfied and thats how it should be.
That’s good that your GP is taking it seriously…I hope they get you back on top form soon
Yes I have full confidence in his judgement
Its me and presidone dont get on sends my blood sugar
Crazy so he wants me off it asap. Aparently
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