Chest Radiology > Technique > Positioning > PA Lateral


Positioning

Posterioranterior and Lateral

The standard chest examination consists of a PA (posterioranterior) and lateral chest x-ray. The films are read together.  The PA exam is viewed as if the patient is standing in front of you with their right side on your left.  The patient is facing towards the left on the lateral view.  Comparison films can be invaluable - Old Gold!  If you have comparison films, the old PA film is displayed adjacent to the new PA film and the old lateral is displayed adjacent to the new lateral.

On the left is a simulated patient in position for a standard PA (posterioranterior) chest x-ray.  On the right is a normal PA film.

 

 

On the left is a simulated patient in position for a lateral chest x-ray and on the right is a normal lateral film.
Note that the receptor or film is against the left chest.

 

 

When reading a patient's chest films you should look at both the PA and the lateral films and hang them in this manner (PA on left and lateral on right).

 

 

When using comparison films one should hang old PA then new PA then new lateral followed by old lateral.  For PACS many radiologists use two monitors and view the PA and lateral, then compare the new PA to old PA, and finally the new lateral to the old lateral.

 

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