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
- Abnormality of the rib cage
- Evidence of cancer
Last reviewedFebruary 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.