Is the image diagnostic? (10 point plan)

7. Collimation to the area of interest

For the portable chest X-ray the X-ray beam should always be collimated to the area of interest:

  • Superiorly the supraclavicular region defined by the superior margin of the 1st rib bilaterally
  • Lateral margins of the chest
  • The hemidiaphragms. Collimation should be extended if the chest request include the need to identify the position of a naso gastric tube

Beam limitation is an important part of the process of optimisation for the radiographer/technologist undertaking the X-ray examination. Care should always be taken not to collimate the beam too much so that relevant anatomy has been excluded. This would make the image non diagnostic  and require a repeat to be performed.