Chest and Abdominal Radiographs

Authors: Jane McVicar / Editor: Yasmin Sultan / Reviewer: Joe Schrieber, Raghaventhar Manikandan / Code: A1, A2, A3 / Published: 21/12/2023

Chest and abdominal x-rays are commonly requested in the emergency department (ED). Requests based on their specific indications, and a systematic approach to interpretation, maximise the diagnostic information produced and minimise radiation exposure to the patient.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Define the key emergency medicine (EM) indications for chest and abdominal radiography
  • Employ a systematic approach in order to interpret chest and abdominal radiographs
  • Appraise subtle changes and place these in the correct context
  • Relate the findings to clinical conditions


  1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Renal or ureteric colic – acute. NICE CKS, 2020. 
  2. Nickson C. Acute Aortic Dissection. Life in the Fast Lane, 2023.

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