Atherosclerosis is dangerous because it's so stealthy. This process of narrowing and hardening of the arteries occurs over decades, usually without any symptoms.
Heart attacks and strokes caused by atherosclerosis are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. But diseases caused by atherosclerosis also lead to chronic pain, kidney failure, blindness, and even impotence.
It's time to shine some light on these hidden complications of atherosclerosis -- and to learn how to...
Look at the structures of the chest (bones, heart, lungs)
Evaluate placement of devices (pacemakers, defibrillators) or tubes placed during hospitalization for treatment and monitoring (catheters, chest tubes)
Diagnose lung and heart diseases
How Should I Prepare for a Chest X-Ray?
No special preparation is necessary for a chest X-ray, but you should tell the technician if you could be pregnant.
What Happens During a Chest X-Ray?
The chest X-ray can be performed at bedside or in a radiology department. You will be asked to remove all clothes and metallic jewelry from the waist up and put on a hospital gown for the test.
If you are able, you will be asked to stand very still with your chest against the cassette that contains the film. The X-ray machine will then send a beam of ionizing radiation through an X-ray tube. This energy passes through your chest and is then absorbed on film to create a picture. Bones and other dense areas show up as lighter shades of gray while areas that don't absorb the radiation appear as dark gray.
You will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds to generate better images.
Then you will be asked to do the same thing, but with your left side against the cassette and your arms elevated.
The entire test takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes.