You have probably seen a chest x-ray (chest radiograph), or might even have had one taken. Have you ever wondered how to read a chest x-ray? When looking at a radiograph, remember that it is a 2-dimensional representation of a 3-dimensional object. Height and width are maintained, but depth is lost. The left side of the film represents the right side of the individual, and vice versa. Air appears black, fat appears gray, soft tissues and water appear as lighter shades of gray, and bone and metal appear white. The denser the tissue, the whiter it will appear on x-ray. Denser tissues appear radiopaque, bright on the film; less dense tissues appear radiolucent, dark on the film.
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