ZocdocAnswersWhat does no active chest disease indicate on a chest X-ray?

Question

What does no active chest disease indicate on a chest X-ray?

Had chest xray and Doc is handing me off to pulmonologist

Answer

Chest X-rays are very useful diagnostic tools, and the best person to discuss this with is the doctor who ordered the test. The phrase "no active chest disease" is often used to describe the absence of certain things that can be easily seen on a Chest x-ray. Not all lung and heart disease can be seen on chest x-ray, but many things are often seen, that you might be concerned about, which makes it a very useful initial study if someone is having chest pain or shortness of breath or cough. For example, bacterial pneumonias, or certain types of lung infections, are easily seen on chest x-rays. Sometimes new tumors, or nodules can be seen on chest x-rays. In addition, chest x-rays can show if there is air or fluid accumulating around the lungs, that aren't supposed to be there. A chest x-ray can also show the size of the heart, and particularly if the heart is abnormally large, or if any of the vessels leaving the heart are abnormal in shape or size. It can also see the bony structures in your chest such as ribs and clavicles and can tell if those have fractures. So, depending on what you were seeing the doctor about (cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, rib pain), a chest x-ray with no active disease can be very helpful to rule out certain things. However, there are other tests that can be done to further evaluate lung function or lung architecture (what your lung actually looks like), depending on what your symptoms have been. Please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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