Children's Hospital Colorado
Heart institute
Heart institute

Pediatric Chest X-Ray

A young child lies on a table while a man in blue scrubs takes x-rays.
A child receives a chest x-ray to show doctors a picture of his heart, lungs and chest.

A pediatric chest x-ray is a non-invasive procedure that provides a picture of a child's heart, lungs and bones in the chest. It shows the location, size and shape of the heart, lungs and blood vessels; it can also show a doctor if there is fluid in the lungs.

A chest x-ray can be useful in the diagnosis of pneumonia, tumors, collapsed lung, congestive heart failure and rib fractures. It does not, however, show any of the inside structures of the heart.

What to expect from a chest x-ray

Having an x-ray taken is quick and painless. If your child is an outpatient, the x-ray is done in the Radiology department. If your child is staying at Children’s Hospital Colorado, portable x-ray machines are sometimes brought to your child so that he does not have to be moved.

Read about other common heart tests.