Definition - What does Chest X-ray mean?A chest X-ray is a medical procedure to capture images of the airways, blood vessels, bones, heart, lungs, and spine. A patient will stand between a machine that discharges X-rays through a plate, which captures digital images of the chest wall cavity from both a front and side view. A chest X-ray uses low doses of radiation to contrast visuals on a black-and-white film medium.
SureHire explains Chest X-ray
In a chest X-ray exam, solid structures (i.e., ribs/spine) have a high-density mass ratio, which blocks the X-rays and makes an image appear white. Conversely, organs and soft tissue (i.e., the heart/lungs) are more porous and can absorb the X-ray particles, which appear as a black image. A doctor may use a chest X-ray to chart a health condition between visits. For example, it can help monitor a cardiopulmonary disease, such as congestive heart failure (CHF) or emphysema, which, respectively, shows arterial blockage in/around the heart muscle or scarred lining of the lung tissue. Other examples of using a chest X-ray include fractures of the rib/spine, a collapsed lung, and candidates for cancer or pneumonia.
In some job trades, a chest X-ray can help assess if a person can handle the physical demands and stress factors involved in a line of work. The process consists of a cardiovascular test synched with the medical history and fitness level based on the job description. For instance, a chest X-ray can show latent signs, boosted by symptoms of chest pain/shortness of breath, of obstructive lung disease (i.e., asthma). As a result, this can affect a person's ability to use a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or work in tight workspaces.