When Do I Need a Chest X-Ray for Heart Disease?

Your doctor has several ways to try to diagnose your heart disease. One of those is a chest X-ray.

It uses a small amount of radiation to produce an image of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels.

Your doctor uses a chest X-ray to:

  • Look at your chest bones, heart, and lungs
  • See if your pacemaker, defibrillator, or other heart devices are in place
  • To check on any catheters and chest tubes you may have

What Happens During a Chest X-Ray?

You don’t need to do anything to get ready for it. But you do need to let the technician know if you could be pregnant.

Your X-ray will take no more than 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll have to remove all of your clothes and jewelry from the waist up, and wear a hospital gown. And you have to stand very still while you hold your breath.

The process is painless and simple. It can show your doctor if you have:

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on August 02, 2016

Sources

SOURCES:

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "Explore Chest X Ray," "What is a Chest X Ray?" "How is Heart Disease Diagnosed?"

RadiologyInfo.org: "Chest X-ray (Chest Radiography)."

CDC: “Aortic Aneurysm Fact Sheet.”

Mayo Clinic: “Chest X-rays,” “Heart disease.”

American Heart Association: “Symptoms and Diagnosis of Cardiomyopathy.”

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