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Chest X-Ray - Heart

Definition:

A very small amount of radiation is used to produce an image of the structures of the chest (heart, lungs and bones) on film.

Your doctor uses the CXR to:
  • look at the structures of the chest (bones, heart, lungs)
  • evaluate placement of devices (pacemakers, defibrillators) or tubes placed during hospitalization for treatment and monitoring (catheters, chest tubes)
  • diagnose lung and cardiac diseases
What to expect:
  • A CXR can be performed by Radiology at the bedside or in their department.
  • You will remove all clothes and jewelry from the waist up. You will wear a hospital gown during the test.
  • A very small amount of radiation is used to take images of the structures of the chest.
  • Two x-rays will be taken: If you are able, you will be asked to stand very still with your chest against the cassette that contains the film. You will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds to generate better images.
  • You will be asked to do the same thing, but with your left side against the cassette.

The entire test takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes.

To prepare:
  • No special preparation is necessary.
  • Tell the technician if you may be pregnant.
Reviewed: 05/11

This information is about testing and procedures and may include instructions specific to Cleveland Clinic.
Please consult your physician for information pertaining to your testing.

Talk to a Nurse: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (ET)

Call a Heart & Vascular Nurse locally 216.445.9288 or toll-free 866.289.6911.

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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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