Test / Diagnostic Procedure: Chest X-Ray

The chest x-ray is one of the most common tests requested in patients with either suspected or established lung diseases.

Why has my doctor requested a chest x-ray?

The chest x-ray is just one of the investigations needed to explain the symptoms you have reported. The chest x-ray is an ‘imaging’ test which allows doctors to look at the structures in the chest including the lungs and heart. The information provided by the chest x-ray, when taken together with the results of other tests, may allow your doctor to make a diagnosis and, so, provide the correct treatment. If you have a known diagnosis or disease, a chest x-ray may be requested to monitor progress.


Will I be exposed to radiation and, if so, why can’t I have another test?

Yes. Unlike magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US), chest x-ray and computed tomography (CT), both rely on ionising radiation. However, the radiation dose from a single chest x-ray is very low. It is also worth remembering that we are all exposed, each day, to radiation from our surroundings so the radiation dose from a chest x-ray should be considered in context.

It is true that MRI and US are tests that do not use ionising radiation. However, the role of these tests in imaging the lungs is generally limited. Doctors request different imaging tests depending on the organ or organs concerned and the question(s) that need to be answered. For reasons related to the physics of MRI and US and, in contrast with, say, the brain, heart and joints, MRI and US are not of great value for imaging of lung diseases.


Overview

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Health Insurance

This service or treatment is generally covered by most health insurance policies. You are responsible for checking your insurance policy cover, and you may need a referral letter. Check which insurance companies are covered.

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Doctor Referral Only

You will generally need to get a referral letter from your NHS GP, Private GP, or other doctor to access this service or treatment. Find out more including how we can assist you

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Self-Pay Available

This treatment is available for self-paying users. If you would like to see more information on pricing visit our pricing and payments page.

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Fixed Price Package

For peace of mind, this service or treatment is available for an all-inclusive fixed price package.

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Same Day Availability

We usually have same-day appointments available for this service. Please call us to book.