December 7, 2023
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How Can PA Chest X-Ray Diagnose Chest Problems? (2023)


PA chest X-ray is a diagnostic tool and is most in use nowadays. It develops pictures of different parts of your chest and spine, including lungs, bones, heart, bloodstream, and airways. A doctor will recommend chest X-rays if you are experiencing chest pain, injury, or breathing problems. The X-ray images can detect these disorders in your chest, such as heart diseases, lung problems, pneumonia, emphysema, cancer, or other issues.

What is the use of PA Chest X-RAY?

X-rays are a form of radiation known as electromagnetic waves. It utilizes ionizing radiation and enters your body to develop pictures of inside parts and organs. The color of the X-ray images received as negative black and white photographs.

Chest X-rays are general and the initial step when you experience heart or lung disease. The X-ray procedure identifies the cause of these symptoms, including chest pain, breathing problems, extreme cough, and infections with fever. A healthcare provider may use a chest X-ray to see how well the treatment is going if you have chest problems.

The chest X-ray helps to discover the liquid or air within or around your lungs. The chest X-ray may indicate the following within your chest, including:

  • Cancer, infection, or lung collapse (deposition of air around your lungs).
  • Lung problems originate from heart disorders. If you have fluid in your lungs, this may mean you have congestive heart failure.
  • Increasing or decreasing the size and shape of your heart. It can show heart failure, fluid deposition near the heart, or heart valve issues.
  • Any fractures in your spine or rib or bone problems.
  • Pneumonia. It develops due to viral or bacterial infection. This condition results in swelling in your lung tissue and deposition of fluid in your lungs.
  • Emphysema (A long-lasting lung condition that shows breath problems).
  • Blood vessels. These can help to find blood vessel disorders or congenital heart disease.
  • Deposition of calcium in your heart or bloodstream.

What happens during PA chest X-ray?

When you visit the imaging center for the chest X-ray exam, a radiologist will take you to an X-ray room. The process of a PA chest is to find a suitable spot between an X-rays machine and a photographic plate that forms images of your chest. PA (Posterior-Anterior) indicates the moving position of the series of X-rays with the front view. It means the X-rays first target the posterior part of your chest, then the anterior part (AP).

What happens during PA chest X

A radiologist will tell the patient to put their chest ahead of the photographic film while standing. The patient should keep their arms above and roll their shoulders in the forward direction. You may also need to change your positions to get a front and side view of your chest. During the process, the patient may need to hold their breath for a short time interval. It is because a radiologist will get accurate and clear images of the heart and lungs on the photographic plate. When the radiation enters your body, the pictures of denser substances like bone, muscles, and others will be white.

The chest X-ray will take at least 20 to 30 minutes. After that, you may go to your home for daily activities.

Difference between an AP VS PA chest X-ray

AP (Anterior-posterior) chest x-ray is usually not recommended by the radiologist because it provides a less accurate image of your heart and lungs. In order to get an AP image, the patient will stand with their back in front of the film. An AP image may also be collected if the patient wants to conduct the exam by sitting or lying on the bed due to the inability to stand. The view of the heart with a PA chest X-ray shows up as smaller and more visible than an AP view.

Difference Between An AP VS PA Chest X-Ray

Preparation required for the PA chest X-ray:

After scheduling the X-ray at the imaging center, you may need to consider these before taking the chest X-ray exam:

  • You will wear off your clothes from above your waist. A radiologist will provide you with a gown before an exam.
  • Before the chest X-ray, you will ask to wear off all your jewelry, metal objects, hairpins, glasses, etc.
  • Talk with your radiologist if you have any metal-implanted devices like defibrillators.
  • Tell your radiologist if you are pregnant.

You can consult a professional online doctor service here to know more specific preparation for your chest X-ray exam.

What you should know before PA Chest X-ray?

If you have experienced chest pain, injury, or breathing problems, you should discuss it with a doctor before taking the chest X-ray. People do not feel pain or any discomfort when X-rays enter their bodies. The radiation levels resulting from the chest X-ray are not high compared to other sources of radiation when you experience the environment. A radiologist may provide a covered apron to get several images of your chest if required.

What you should know before PA Chest X-ray

Some side effects of X-rays may be dangerous for your body, but the advantages of using X-rays are significant compared to the risk. You should inform your doctor if you are pregnant or in the phase of pregnancy. The radiation may affect the unborn baby. In this case, a doctor will not recommend a PA chest X-ray.

PA Chest X-ray Result

The PA chest X-ray result may be received within 1 or 2 days. The X-rays images will be in the form of white and black color images. These indicate the area and organs of your chest.

Your bone will show white due to its dense nature. The lighter area will indicate your heart in the image. The dark portion of the image will be your lungs filled with air. A doctor will use chest X-rays and other tests to examine your chest and identify if you have heart problems, pneumonia, cancer, or other condition.


The PA chest X-ray is a helpful tool to check the condition of your heart, lungs, and bones. The PA view helps your radiologist get better and more accurate chest images. The chest X-ray contains low radiation and helps diagnose fracture bones, heart problems, and lung conditions. Consult an online medical service to review your chest X-ray with a professional doctor.

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