X-ray

X-rays are quick, cheap, nearly always available, and exposes the patient to a relatively minor amount of radiation. Images can provide considerable information in regard to the skeleton, heart, and lungs. This means, for example, that it can quickly provide much needed information in trauma rooms. Through mobile radiography machines, it is possible to perform X-rays examinations in other departments such as the IC. Disadvantages are that soft tissues are poorly imaged, it is a 2D image, and that it uses ionizing radiation.

Examples of indications for X-rays:
Chest X-ray (fig. 1&2): Pneumonia? Metastases? Air trapping? Position of a tube or other lines? Pneumothorax?

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X-thorax examination with lung metastasen
X-thorax examination with lung metastasen

Figure 1. Posterior-anterior (PA) Chest X-ray. Multiple pulmonary nodular lesions in a patient known to have lung metastases.

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Chest X-ray following a high energy trauma. Bilateral pneumothorax, rib fractures and a fracture of the right clavicle
Chest X-ray following a high energy trauma. Bilateral pneumothorax, rib fractures and a fracture of the right clavicle

Figure 2. Anterior-posterior (AP) Chest X-ray performed in a trauma room following a high energy trauma. Bilateral pneumothorax, right dorsolateral fracture of ribs 4 and 5 and a midshaft fracture of the right clavicle.

Skeletal X-ray: Fractures, osteoartritis, arthritis
Abdominal X-ray(fig3): nephrolithiasis, free air

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Abdominal X-ray with extensive bilateral nephrolithiasis
Abdominal X-ray with extensive bilateral nephrolithiasis

Figure 3. abdominal X-ray. Extensive bilateral nephrolithiasis