Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Radiography: thorax

Contributor(s): Serena Brownlie, Patsy Whelehan

Introduction

  • Radiography of the thorax can be problematical due to difficulties eliminating movement blur resulting from breathing.
  • High output (high mA capability) X-ray machines enable exposure times to be minimized, reducing the risk of movement blur.
  • If the machine cannot achieve sufficiently low exposure times, general anesthesia may be required.
    Under anesthesia respiration can be interrupted by gentle pressure on the rebreathing bag, eliminating movement blur.
  • Inflation of the lungs in this way can make small soft tissue opacities more visible.
  • A reasonably high kV, along with high mA capability, will facilitate the use of shorter exposure times and avoid excessive image contrast.
  • Close collimation of the primary beam should be practised at all times.
  • The objective is to produce a radiograph which includes the whole area of interest, is correctly exposed and developed, and is free from movement blur and artifacts.
  • The film should be clearly marked with the anatomical marker, the patient's identification, the date and the name of the hospital or practice.

Uses

  • Demonstration of lung pathology Heart: left sided cardiomegaly - radiograph lateral .
  • Assessment of cardiac size and shape Heart: congestive heart failure Heart: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy 04 - radiograph lateral .
  • Confirmation of diaphragmatic herniation Diaphragm: hernia  Thorax: ruptured diaphragm - radiograph lateral .
  • Examination of esophagus Esophagus: disease  Esophagus: megaesophagus - radiograph lateral .
  • Demonstration of pleural space pathology Pleural effusion  Thorax: pleural effusion 01 - radiograph lateral .
  • Demonstration of mediastinal pathology Mediastinum: lymphadenopathy (LSA) - radiograph lateral .
  • Distal tracheal pathology Trachea: foreign body - radiograph .
  • Detection of fractured ribs Thorax: rib fracture - radiograph lateral , or other rib pathology .

Advantages

  • Non-invasive, valuable diagnostic tool.
  • Can be performed under sedation if equipment is adequate.
  • Can be performed with no chemical restraint if patient is very sick.
  • Relatively quick and simple where general anesthesia is not required.

Disadvantages

  • May require general anesthesia.
    Placing a dyspneic animal in dorsal or lateral recumbency may compromise respiration in some cases.Struggling with a non-compliant, eg undersedated, patient may be detrimental to its condition.

Requirements

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Preparation

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Procedure

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Rishniw M (2000) Radiography of feline cardiac disease. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 30 (2), 395-425 PubMed.
  • Wolvekamp W T (1988) Radiology of the thorax. Tijdschr Diergeneeskd 113 (Suppl 1), 93S-97S PubMed.


ADDED