When a patient approaches a doctor with chest pains, shortness in breath, and strong coughs, requesting for chest-rays usually follow soon after. In fact, one of the most commonly performed medical imaging is chest x-rays. Once the chest x-ray is developed, medical practitioners then follow up with the diagnosis and treatment for the condition.
The following are the most common terms used by radiologists and their meaning, for chest x-rays:
This is a Greek term which means imperfect extension. This term refers to lung collapsing, either by compression on the outside or if the passageway for air to the lung is obstructed.
This terminology refers to infiltration and can show up on lungs as a density which would resemble fluffy clouds. Once the alveoli fill up with fluids, this would manifest on a chest x-ray as “consolidation.” Five types of fluids can cause this including blood, water, puss, cancer cells, and protein.
When something compromises chest x-rays, it is viewed as a bright spot on the lungs in a chest x-ray image.
• Fibrosis or scar.
When there is damage or injury, lungs can form scar tissues that may cause focal scars which would be visible on chest x-rays.
This term refers to the opposite of “density.” While x-rays pass through lesser dense regions such as air-filled lungs, it shows up as a darker area on the x-ray image. It may be deemed abnormal to a radiologist if there is too much lucency.
• Silhouette sign.
This term is one of the most vital in the radiology industry. It refers to two structures of different densities such as the lung and heart, which lie adjacent to each other and can be viewed at the interface. If there isn’t a silhouette sign, this would indicate a problem – generally in the lungs.
Understanding these terms can help patients get a brief understanding of what medical practitioners are referring to when it is being discussed. An MRI and CT scanner comparison can also be made for a full diagnosis if the problem may seem severe and for a patient’s sense of contentment.
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