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.
Whats The Difference Between X
A chest X-ray is one method of providing your doctor with images of your heart and lungs. A computed tomography scan of the chest is another tool that is commonly ordered in people with breathing problems.
Unlike a standard X-ray, which provides a flat, one-dimensional picture, CT scans provide a series of X-ray images taken from different angles. It gives doctors a cross-section look at the organs and other soft tissue.
A CT scan gives a more detailed view than a regular X-ray. It can be used to check for blood clots in the lungs, which a chest X-ray cant do. A CT scan can also pick up much smaller detail, identifying problems, like cancer, much earlier.
The imaging test is often used to follow up any abnormalities seen within in the lungs on a chest X-ray.
Its not uncommon for your doctor to recommend both a chest X-ray and a CT scan depending on your symptoms. A chest X-ray is often done first because it is fast and accessible and provides useful information in order to make decisions quickly about your care.
What Is A Chest X
An X-ray is a type of screening test that takes a photographic or digital image of the structures inside the body. It is a painless and fairly quick screening that passes X-ray beams through the body to be absorbed to different degrees by different materials. X-rays hold a very small risk for radiation exposure .;
A chest X-ray;points the X-ray beams towards the chest to take a picture of your lungs and chest area. A chest X-Ray shows:
- Several major blood vessels in the chest
- The air in your lungs
- Fat and muscle
Also Check: What’s An Asthma Attack Feel Like
What Are Common Ways To Diagnose Asthma
Personal and medical history.;Your doctor will ask you questions to understand your symptoms and their causes. Bring notes to help jog your memory. Be ready to answer questions about your family history, the medicines you take and your lifestyle. This includes any current physical problems. Shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and tightness in your chest may show asthma. This also includes all previous medical conditions. A history of allergies or eczema increases your chance of asthma. A family history of asthma, allergies or eczema increases your chance of having asthma, too. Tell your doctor about any home or work exposure to environmental factors that can worsen asthma. For example, these might include pet dander, pollen, dust mites and tobacco smoke. The doctor may also ask if you get chest symptoms when you get a head cold.
Physical exam.;If your doctor thinks you have asthma, they will do a physical exam. They will look at;your ears, eyes, nose, throat, skin, chest and lungs. This exam may include a lung function test to detect how well you exhale air from your lungs. You may also need an X-ray of your lungs or sinuses.;A physical exam then allows your doctor to review your health.
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.
You May Like: Is Asthma Worse In Cold Weather
Can A Chest X
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.
How Do I Prepare For Pulmonary Function Tests
Ask your doctor if there is anything you need to do to prepare for spirometry.
Before taking a challenge test, be sure to tell your doctor if you have recently had a viral infection, like a cold, or any shots or immunizations, since these might affect the test’s results.
Other general preparations to follow before the test include:
- No smoking on the day of the test
- No coffee, tea, cola, or chocolate on the day of test
- Avoid exercise and cold air exposure on the day of test
- Medicines taken to treat asthma can affect the test results. Different medicines must be stopped at different intervals. You will be told how long before testing to discontinue any medicines you are taking.
Don’t Miss: After An Asthma Attack
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.
The Basics Of Diagnosing Asthma
Your doctor will probably start your examination by delving into your past medical history and asking whether any of your relatives have allergies or asthma. You’ll also be asked to describe your symptoms, their severity, and what, if anything, is;triggering;them.
Triggers could include cold air, dust, hairsprays, perfumes, household cleaner vapors, cigarette or cigar smoke, and air pollution, Asciuto says.
Doctors also try to narrow down the list of culprits by asking these additional questions:
- Is your cough worse at night?
- Do you have more symptoms when youre at home or at work?
- Do you have other health problems that could be causing these symptoms, such as a;sinus infection;or;acid reflux?
Next, your doctor will listen to your breathing with a stethoscope and may order one or more of these diagnostic tests:
Its also important to note that you can have asthma without experiencing any of the hallmark;symptoms. There’s no single patient profile for asthma, says Dr. Fineman. “Some will have more coughing, some more wheezing, and some have more problems breathing with exercise, he says.
Don’t Miss: Can I Join The Coast Guard With Asthma
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 .
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.
Also Check: Nebulizer Breathing Treatment Side Effects
What Is A Shadow On A Chest X
Due to the differences in their composition , the lungs, heart, aorta, and bones of the chest each can be distinctly visualized on the chest X-ray. The X-ray film records these differences to produce an image of body tissue structures and these are shadows seen on the X-ray. The white shadows on chest X-ray represent more dense or solid tissues, such as bone or heart, and the darker shadows on the chest X-ray represent air filled tissues, such as lungs.
How Is The Diagnosis Of Feline Asthma Made
A step toward making a diagnosis of feline asthma is for your veterinary surgeon to take x-rays of your cats chest . Because many cats will present as an emergency, your veterinary surgeon will most often need to stabilise your cat first with as little restraint as possible in an oxygen-rich environment . Because of the constricted airways, the actual volume of air an asthmatic patient can move in and out of the lungs with each breath is markedly reduced. Because of this, your cat is working extremely hard to inhale and exhale air from the lungs. The abdomen may appear expanded as it attempts to push air out. Some cats will also gulp air and have a swollen stomach. The breaths are often short and shallow, and your cat may even be breathing with their mouth open in an effort to move the largest possible amount of air in and out of the lungs.
Figure 2: Chest x-rays can help rule out many diseases responsible for changes in breathing pattern such as fluid on the lungs , fluid around the lungs , masses , ruptured diaphragm, and patchy lung patterns commonly found with pneumonia.
Once your cat is considered to be clinically stable in a calm and oxygen-rich environment, and they are tolerant to handling, then conscious chest x-rays can be taken to rule out other causes such as fluid on the lungs and fluid around the lungs associated with congestive heart failure.
Further tests may include:
Don’t Miss: Homemade Asthma Inhaler
At The Specialist Asthma Clinic
If youre taking your asthma medicines exactly as prescribed and using the right inhaler technique, but youre still getting symptoms, your GP or asthma nurse may refer you to a specialist asthma clinic.;It may take some time before you get an appointment, so youll still have to manage your condition through your GP until then.;
At the clinic they will try to work out whats going on by answering these questions:
- Is the type of asthma you have difficult to control asthma?
- Is the type of asthma you have severe asthma?
- Is there another reason why youre getting your asthma symptoms?
You might have had tests to diagnose and monitor your asthma already, but to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of severe asthma you may need some extra tests.
You probably wont need all these tests, though. Your asthma specialist will explain which ones you need and why.
Everyone with asthma is different so the tests youll need will depend on your individual asthma symptoms, medical history, family history and any other conditions you have, says Asthma UKs in-house GP Dr Andy Whittamore.
And because your asthma symptoms can vary over time, you may need to have these tests more than once to help your asthma specialist make the right diagnosis.
Who Can Interpret Chest X
Many doctors are trained to interpret chest X-rays. In addition to radiologists, who have special training in reading all radiology films, primary care physicians, internists, pediatricians, emergency room doctors, anesthesiologists, heart doctors , lung doctors and lung surgeons are the doctors who frequently interpret chest X-rays as a part of their routine practice.
You May Like: Can You Be In The Military With Asthma
What To Expect When Having A Chest X
X-rays are usually taken by a trained and certified radiology technician. Patients who are undergoing an X-ray of the chest will put on a special gown and remove all metallic items, including jewelry;so that they don’t block the X-ray beam from penetrating the body.
The X-ray technician may ask the patient to inhale deeply and hold her breath during the procedure to inflate the lungs and make the various chest tissues more visible. X-rays may be taken from the front, back and side views, and from different camera angles while sitting, standing or lying down.
Once the X-ray has been taken, the exposed film is placed into a developing machine and the image is examined and interpreted by a radiologist . After the radiologist reviews the X-ray, he or she will send a report to the doctor who ordered the test. This doctor will then discuss the results and recommended treatment options with the patient.
The risks of chest X-rays are minimal, especially because today’s high-speed film does not require as much radiation exposure as the type of film used years ago. However, any exposure to radiation has some risk, which is why the technician asks the patient to wear a lead apron over the reproductive parts of the body or the extremities to shield from exposure. Pregnant women should ask their physicians before having an X-ray taken, as this could harm the fetus.
What Can A Chest X
Your childs healthcare provider may order a chest x-ray for many reasons, including trouble breathing, cough, fever, chest pain, or injury to the chest area. Chest x-rays can identify abnormalities of the lungs, airway, heart, mediastinum , and bones.
Chest x-rays can show infections or a collapsed lung . Chronic lung conditions like asthma and cystic fibrosis can be evaluated with a chest x-ray. Certain cancers can also be identified with chest x-rays.
Image: Pneumonia. This chest x-ray displays a large round density in the right upper lung.
Image: Cystic Fibrosis
Image: Osteogenes Imperfecta, type III. Chest & abdomen radiograph. Irregular thickening of the ribs due to multiple healed fractures is present. Multiple clavicular fractures are also seen. The humeri are short, thickened, and the left one is bent.
Image: Anterior Mediastinal Teratoma. There is an abnormal mediastinal mass in the right paraspinal region.
Unless your child is having discomfort moving into different positions due to an injury or recent surgery, a chest x-ray is quick and painless to perform. He or she will need to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that may get in the way of the exam.
After the exam, the chest x-ray will be interpreted by one of our pediatric radiologists and a report will be sent to your childs healthcare provider.
Meredith Towbin, copyeditor
You May Like: Does A Chihuahua Take Away Asthma
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.
What Can Cause A Shadow On A Chest X Ray
can cause a shadowchest XraysLungmayshadowmayXrayshadow
The white shadows on chest X–ray represent more dense or solid tissues, such as bone or heart, and the darker shadows on the chest X–ray represent air filled tissues, such as lungs.
Beside above, what causes abnormal chest X ray? Abnormal ScansConditions such as heart failure, pneumonia, lung cancer, tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, pleural effusion, embolisms, emphysema, and lung scarring would all show up on chest scans in various ways.
Also, what shows up on a chest X ray?
Chest X–rays can also reveal fluid in or around your lungs or air surrounding a lung. The image helps your doctor determine whether you have heart problems, a collapsed lung, pneumonia, broken ribs, emphysema, cancer or any of several other conditions.
Do X rays show tumors?
These include diagnosing tumors or bone injuries. X–rays are made by using external radiation to produce images of the body, its organs, and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes. A bone or a tumor, which is denser than soft tissue, allows few of the X–rays to pass through and appears white on the X–ray.
You May Like: Can Asthma Come At Any Age