Chest x-ray anatomy

Tutorial conclusion

This tutorial has demonstrated the important anatomical structures visible on a chest x-ray. These structures were discussed in a specific order to help you develop a systematic approach to viewing chest x-rays.

  • Trachea and bronchi
  • Hilar structures
  • Lung zones
  • Pleura
  • Lung lobes and fissures
  • Costophrenic angles
  • Diaphragm
  • Heart
  • Mediastinum
  • Soft tissues
  • Bones

Tutorial key points

  • Some anatomical structures in the chest should be assessed on every chest x-ray
  • Each of these anatomical structures should be viewed using a systematic approach
  • There are also important structures that are obscured or become visible only when abnormal

Whenever you get the chance, after seeing a patient on the wards, spend some time looking at the patient's x-rays. Try to locate the anatomical structures you have learned about on every chest x-ray you look at.

You will learn more about chest x-ray anatomy when going through the tutorial on chest x-ray abnormalities.

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