Chest X-ray Quality
Tutorial conclusion

Tutorial key points

  • Image quality influences conclusions
  • Check the image for - Inclusion, Projection, Rotation, Inspiration, Penetration and Artifact
  • Quality is influenced by radiographic technique and patient factors
  • Check to see if a poor quality X-ray demonstrates a life threatening abnormality before dismissing it
  • Check to see if the clinical question can still be answered?

Complete assessment of a chest X-ray requires consideration of image quality. This involves scrutiny of inclusion, projection, rotation, inspiration/lung volume, penetration and artifact.

A poor quality chest X-ray does not always need to be repeated. You should see if the clinical question can be answered and only request a repeat if the patient is likely to benefit.

You should assess the entire image even if is obviously less than perfect. Many technically sub-optimal chest X-rays show life-threatening abnormalities that require your urgent action!

Your course assessment certificate

A certificated course completion assessment is available which is based on the material in this tutorial and the related sections.

All the certificated online course completion assessments provided by Radiology Masterclass award CPD/CME credits in accordance with the CPD Scheme of the Royal College of Radiologists, London, UK.

Page author: Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust UK (Read bio)

Last reviewed: July 2019