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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Chest x-ray showed cardiac silhouette mildly prominent. What does this mean?

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Allergist and Immunologist
Practicing since : 1999
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What is the meaning of "Cardiac silhouette is mildly prominent XXXXXXX in a chest X-ray report of a 74-years old male, Indian (from India)?
Mon, 31 Dec 2012 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Answered by Dr. Sujoy Khan 1 hour later
Welcome to Healthcare Magic and thank you for writing to us.

Cardiac silhouette basically means the heart that appears as white on Chest X Ray(CXR) due to the blood inside. What is black on CXR is air and you will find the heart (in white) surrounded by the or flanked on each side by black which are the two lungs.

Just behind the left nipple is the apex of the heart and is the left ventricle. A normal cardiac silhouette is defined by the lower cross diameter of the heart from the extreme right boundary (upper chamber or the atrium) to the left ventricle apex that should occupy no more than one half the XXXXXXX thoracic diameter (ie., right to left thorax wall). A slightly prominent cardiac silhouette thus means that the heart diameter is slighly more than the thoracic diameter.
This is a crude estimate (at best) of heart size, and if you have any concerns, the more sensitive test is an echocardiogram (2D-ECHO).
Please get in touch with your doctor to see if this is indicated.

Best Wishes.
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