heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Chest x-ray for heart disease

This test can help your doctor determine if there is anything wrong with your heart.

A chest X-ray produces an image that shows the location, size and shape of your heart, lungs, airways, and blood vessels. 

How is the test done? 

You will be lying on an X-ray table while the image is being taken. You will need to hold your breath and lie very still for two to three seconds. When the X-ray machine is turned on, it will let a small beam of X-rays pass through your chest. 

This will create an image on special X-ray film, which takes about 10 minutes to develop. Sometimes two pictures will be taken, so your doctor can get a front and a side view of your chest. 

What does the test show? 

A chest X-ray can help your doctor see if your heart is an unusual shape or size. It can help confirm a valve disorder and is useful for diagnosing heart failure or an enlargement of the heart, called cardiomyopathy

Why is the test done? 

Chest X-rays can help your doctor determine if there is anything wrong with your heart. If there is, the X-ray will give them detailed information about your condition and how serious it is.  

Preparing for the test 

You will need to remove any jewellery you are wearing before your chest X-ray. If you have questions, it is best to check with your doctor or the centre where you are having your test for specific information about what to do. 

 

For more information about chest x-rays, speak to your doctor, nurse or health worker, or call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 13 11 12.

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