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February 1960

Misleading Thoracic Roentgenograms: Cardiovascular Abnormalities That May Simulate Diseases of the Lungs, Bony Thorax, or Mediastinum

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(2):277-297. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270140099011

Roentgenograms of the thorax in certain cardiovascular conditions may simulate those associated with diseases of the lungs, bony thorax, or mediastinum. It is important to be aware of these similarities, which may be remarkable. Roentgenographic shadows may be produced that look very much like those characteristic of a different disease. The recognition of the real cause of these roentgenologic changes may allow treatment of an apparently hopeless condition or prevent an unnecessary operation.

This exhibit presents examples of such misleading roentgenograms under the following categories: shadows produced by abnormal aortic contours; shadows suggesting intrathoracic tumor; shadows produced by intrathoracic fluid, and shadows of diverse origin and complexity.

Shadows Produced by Abnormal Aortic Contours (Figs. 1-5)  Abnormalities in the shape of the aorta can cause confusion. Abnormal roentgenographic shadows may be produced directly by the aorta or indirectly by its effect on contiguous structures. These variations may be due to

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