Radiographic x-ray Basic views (PA view) and (AP view)

Basic views–

  • There are mainly two basic type of x-ray view ,
  • Radiographic examination is the key to the diagnosis of many skeletal abnormalities,
  • Obliteration of normal soft-tissue lines and the presence of a joint effusion are of particular importance,
  • The radiographic findings are then correlated with the clinical history and the age and sex of the patient to arrive at a logical diagnosis,
  1. Posteroanterior view (PA view)
  2. Anteroposterior view (AP view)


1. Posteroanterior view (PA view)

Posteroanterior view (PA view)

Radiographic x-ray Basic views (PA view) and (AP view)

  • The plain postero-anterior (PA) chest film is the most frequently requested radiological examination.
  • Remember that the closer an object is to the film, the sharper are the borders.
  • A current film is mandatory before proceeding to more complex investigations.
  • Most of the important structures in the chest such as the heart and great vessels are located anteriorly.
  • Comparison of the current film with old films is valuable and should always be undertaken if the old films are available.
  • Therefore it is not surprising that the best way to take a chest radiograph is with the patient’s front against the film.
  • The further away it is from the film, the more magnified and fuzzy is the shadow of the object (The Basics; experiment 2).
  • Visualisation of the lungs is excellent because of the inherent contrast of the tissues of the thorax.
  • Lateral films should not be undertaken routinely.
  • The X-ray is shot from the patient’s back and is therefore


2. Anteroposterior view (AP view)

anteriorPostero view (Ap view) 2

Radiographic x-ray Basic views (PA view) and (AP view)

  • Sometimes the patient is too sick to stand or sit for a PA view. so for emergency conditions,
  • In this case, a lower quality AP view is taken.
  • When patients are too sick to have an upright PA view of the chest, then an AP supine view is taken.
  • A film is placed under the patient’s back and an X-ray is shot through the patient from the front.
  • Recall that patients in this view are lying on their back. If an effusion is present, it will layer between the posterior chest wall and the lung due to gravity.
  • Therefore, it appears larger than it really is and its borders are fuzzier, just like the finger in our experiment (The Basics; experiment 2),
  • In this view, the heart is farther from the film.


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