Cardiothoracic Imaging
Contents Anatomy Techniques Findings Cases References


Image finding: Normal supine chest film



On a supine frontal Xray of the chest there are significant differences in the appearance of normal pulmonary vasculature and mediastinum. The closer distance of the exposing Xray tube (often only 40 inches from the film cassette) makes the Xrays more diverging and disproportionally enlarges the appearance of structures that are farther from the film (the anterior body structures such as the ascending aorta).

Although the pulmonary artery pressures are low (~25 mm Hg. in systole and ~12 mm Hg. in diastole) and the vessel walls are soft and compliant, the upper lung arterial vessels and the lower lobe vessels are now at the same level as the cardiac chambers.


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Copyright 2004, Yale University School of Medicine. All rights reserved.
December 18, 2004 (PL)
version b.003