Cardiac Radiography > Anatomy > Cardiac Anatomy

Cardiac Anatomy

Identification and evaluation of cardiac abnormalities is aided by an understanding of the positions of the cardiac chambers, valves, and great vessels on the radiograph as demonstrated below. As a rule, the right border of the cardiomediastinal silhouette is formed by the superior vena cava and right atrium. The left side is usually formed (from cranial to caudal) by the aortic arch, pulmonary trunk, left atrial appendage, and left ventricle.


Normal chest radiography with markings of approximate position of the chambers of the heart and pulmonary arteries. RA = right atrium, RV = right ventricle, LV = left ventricle, LA=left atrium, PA = pulmonary artery, MV=mitral valve, TV=tricuspid valve.


The image below shows the mediastinal and cardiac margins on a PA chest x-ray.


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