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Health Forum    Respiratory Diseases
Health Discussion Forum

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blackpool lass.
Lungs x ray.if you have a lung infection ,does it show up?
on the xray. the picture of your lungs,should it be all black for heathy lungs, and the white bits or shadows its that the infection.

yes it does

dorothy s
I don't know what xrays look like however, specialist do. If there are any problems they can identify this.Why back specialists were not obliged to tell you the worst. Now regardless of the prognosis they must tell you. They do not take into account, your age or your ability to cope with bad news, if you have a problem you would have been informed.

Yep, you got it exactly right!


In a word yes.

The white bits are the conjestion/infection. I had pneumonia (which is mucus conjection in the lungs) and it showed white spots on the xray where the infection was.

White bits are infection.

russell B
The black parts are the lung tissue parts and the white is blood vessels that perfuse the lungs to oxygenate the blood. You see xrays pass unhindered through air so more can pass through the lungs, so they appear black. The xrays are also attenuated by the blood vessels because they are more dense, thicker. So they appear white. When an xray image is viewed it's put up on a light box and the light from there passes through the film and those areas that stop, or attenuate the xrays appear whiter.
Lung infections are often collections of mucus and so become areas of increased density i.e. whiter.
That is why the images or radiographs are read by a doctor called a Radiologist who is an expert in diagnosing these grey areas. He knows what healthy looks like and can spot areas of abnormality.
I hope this helps.

Dr Frank
Interpretation of X-Rays is not as simple as all that, but basically even quite small infections will be detectable to the trained eye.

fat duncan
sometimes it can show, but it depends on how extensive the infection is and how much (if any) consolidation there is,also how much of the lung(s) are involved. If it is minor, or confined to only a small area it might not be visible.
as a rule chest infections have to be serious before there are obvious signs on a CXR. Your average cold/flu is unlikely to show up.
BTW, the other answers are by people who don't know what they are talking about. Eradicat may be a RGN, but that doesn't mean she knows how to interpret an x-ray. I'm a radiographer and I don't know how to change a dressing, but I wouldn't presume to know either, or mislead people into thinking I could.

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