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Old 29th Nov 2002, 18:58   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2001
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Question Chest X-Ray and smoking

How many cigarettes would one have to smoke untill it appeared on a chest x-ray?
Chunks is offline  
Old 29th Nov 2002, 19:23   #2 (permalink)
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An an ex radiographer, from my memory, and the remaining textboks I still have, you would have to had smoked quite a lot for the effects to show up on a CXR - apart from the obvious occasional malignancy, - which we hope you're clear of - the general appearance of a smokers CXR is greater definition of the airways within the lung, (Generally looks 'whiter')as they become clogged with tar etc. but it takes more than the occasional roll up to get this far. However, in the case of Emphysema, when they are excessively full of air. (A' la Linda Evangelista) the lungs look very dark.

What exactly are you concerned about? Have you been telling porkie pies to the quack, and are worried you'll get found out? In this case I would advocate cutting down your cigarette intake, allied to total honesty.

In any case I would advocate cutting down on your cigarette intake.

Preach over.

Good luck
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Old 29th Nov 2002, 23:16   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New South Wales
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Hard to know how to answer this question with no context.

The earliest detectable signs of lung damage from smoking come in spirometry (lung function tests). Individual susceptibility to this kind of damage varies, but after twenty years of smoking reasonably heavily (20/day), you may well show some signs of airways obstruction. Eventually, this will get bad enough to be seen on a CXR in the form of lung field hyperexpansion, but that will take a while.

There are no signs on the CXR which can be said to be absolutely diagnostic of smoking, but putting together the clinical history and X-ray appearance usually tells the tale well enough.

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Old 8th Dec 2002, 14:45   #4 (permalink)
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Fewer cigarettes than you will need to permanently endanger your life and that of those who have to live around you!
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