Respiratory failure chest x ray

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1];Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Hadeel Maksoud M.D.[2]


X-ray may be helpful in establishing the etiology of respiratory failure as it may detect underlying disease. Findings on x-ray suggestive of pre-existing COPD include hyperinflation and a flattened diaphragm. X-ray findings suggestive of interstitial lung disease include reticular nodular shadows. Findings on x-ray suggestive of acute respiratory distress include cardiomegaly, redistribution of vessels, peribronchial cuffing, pleural effusion, lines within the septum, and bat-wing distribution of perihilar infiltrates. Finally, thoracic cage abnormalities may be detected such as kyphosis, scoliosis, pectus excavatum, fractured ribs and ankylosing spondylitis, as well as diaphragmatic paralysis.

X Ray


  1. Gabriel E, Shah R, Attwood K, Kukar M, Hochwald S (April 2018). "The first postesophagectomy chest X-ray predicts respiratory failure and the need for tracheostomy". J. Surg. Res. 224: 89–96. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2017.11.057. PMID 29506857.

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