A chest x-ray is an image of the heart and lungs and other structures in the chest. A small dose of radiation is used to create the image. It is one of the most common medical tests done.

Chest x-rays are done to look for abnormalities of your heart, lungs, bones, or blood vessels in your chest. Your doctor may order a chest x-ray if you have certain symptoms, such as:

  • Bad or persistent cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain
  • Chest injury
  • Fever
  • Abnormality of the rib cage
  • Evidence of cancer