Left atrial enlargement chest x-ray

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]; Varun Kumar, M.B.B.S. [3]

Chest X-Ray

Chest x-ray findings of left atrial enlargement are:

  • Double density sign: Occur when the right side of the left atrium pushes behind the right atrial border, appearing as a double density. If large enough it can actually reach beyond the border of the right atrium.
  • Convex left atria appendage: usually reflect prior rheumatic heart disease
  • Splaying of the carina
  • Posterior displacement of the left main stem bronchus on lateral radiograph
  • Superior displacement of the left main stem bronchus on frontal view
  • Posterior displacement of a barium filled oesophagus or nasogastric tube

Images shown below are courtesy of Radiopedia.com.


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