MedSchool: Ace Your OSCEsThe Medical Company
GET - On the App Store
Chest X-Ray

Chest X-Ray Positioning

February 15th, 2021


The patient's position during a chest x-ray can have a large impact on the interpretation of the x-ray. There is generally a marking over the chest x-ray to indicate whether the patient was erect (standing, or at least sitting up) or supine (lying down.

Erect Film

The erect film is the standard film, and is performed with the patient standing. This type of film makes it easier to identify pleural effusions and pneumothoraces.
X-rays performed in an x-ray department are usually erect. Mobile x-rays may be erect, though keep in mind that mobile erect x-rays are often performed in a semi-recumbent position rather than fully erect.
  • Erect Film

Supine Film

A supine film is performed with the patient lying down. This will result in a wider mediastinum and smaller lung fields. Detection of pleural effusion and pneumothorax will be more difficult with supine films.
  • Supine Film
Next Page
Want more info like this?
  • Your electronic clinical medicine handbook
  • Guides to help pass your exams
  • Tools every medical student needs
  • Quick diagrams to have the answers, fast
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge
Sign Up Now

Snapshot: Initialising...