Chest X-ray


X-rays are made by using external radiation to produce images of the body, the organs, and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes. X-rays pass through body structures onto specially treated plates (similar to camera film) and a "negative" type picture is made, the more solid a structure is, the whiter it appears on the film. For this reason, bones appear very white on an X-ray film, but less dense tissue such as muscle, blood, skin, and fat, appears darker. Chest x-rays may be used to assess heart and lung status.

Preparation before the procedure

You will be asked to remove any clothing or jewelry from your neck and chest area that might interfere with the exposure. You will be given a gown without snaps to wear. If you are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, you should tell your physician or the X-ray technologist prior to the procedure.

For a more in depth look at this procedure, visit our Health Library page on this topic.