Chest X-ray - Tubes
Tutorial conclusion

Tutorial key points

  • Chest radiographs are useful in establishing the anatomical location of certain medical devices following their placement
  • An understanding of the radiological anatomy of the chest is essential for the purpose of image interpretation in this context
  • Placement or misplacement of medical devices can be associated with complications which are potentially life-threatening

This tutorial has discussed the correct anatomical location following placement of common tubes as seen on chest X-rays. The following were discussed: endotracheal tubes, nasogastric tubes, central venous catheters and chest drains.

The tutorial has introduced important anatomical concepts relevant to checking correct tube positioning and has covered common complications and given examples of tube misplacement.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Complications arising from placement or misplacement of medical devices are common and can have serious clinical consequences, including the death of a patient. This tutorial only discusses the radiological aspects of tube placement and does not discuss indications for placement or methods used for placement. Formal training is mandatory prior to placement or repositioning of any medical device. Interpretation of chest radiographs following medical device placement should be performed by an appropriately trained and experienced clinician and in accordance with local guidelines. Radiology Masterclass takes no responsibility for clinical decisions made or actions taken by users of the site. Please read the full terms and conditions of use of the site.

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