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Would a chest x-ray show an aneurysm that was large enough to rupture?

I had severe upper back pain between my left shoulder blade and spine. It was severe enough that it made me nauseous. I felt so horrible I left work and went to the ER. They, of course, took their time. I'm 25, so their assumption seemed to be that there couldn't be anything wrong with me. The doctor even said as much when he discharged me. In any case, all they did was a chest X-ray from my back and side. Everything looked normal. The doctor said it was probably a pulled muscle and sent me on my way. That was about 2 months ago. I still have the pain. Nothing seems to make it better. I am worried because I have a bicuspid aortic valve and know that makes me at greater risk for thoracic aneurysms. So, I'm worried the pain might be from a growing aneurysm. Is a regular chest x-ray an effective enough test to pick up an aneurysm that is large enough to rupture?
4 Responses
351246 tn?1379682132
No, a chest X-ray may not be able to detect an aneurysm. This is usually detected through an angiogram, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI.
The pain you suffer from could be due to a referred pain from abdomen like stomach ulcers, acidity, pancreatitis, or from the chest like in heart attack, pericarditis, pleuritis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolus, and aortic dissection.
You need to consult a doctor and discuss these possibilities as the pain is persisting. Take care!

The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
Avatar universal
I'm not a doctor but I do have personal experience with a very similar situation.    I know this question was posted a long time ago and I hope you are well.   I was 18 when the upper back pain between my left shoulder blade and spine started.  It kept getting worse and worse and lasting in duration to the point where it just never completely went away.  I sought help from my family doctor, specialists he sent me to, and then every hospital ER within a 100 or so mile radius -146 ER visits in just 4 years and 5 months- and had more chest x-rays then I could count(at least 30) and they were always  fine, according to the doctors.  However, I had a thoracic aortic aneurysm that was dilated to 8.6 cm and was almost 12 inches long -a humongous aneurysm, it was the largest one seen at UCDavis Medical Center at that time(1995), and was finally diagnosed only through persistence and confidence that I really was having pain, NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE TOLD ME!  I wasn't crazy, or a hypochondriac, wasn't seeking attention and I wasn't trying to get pain meds, I WAS TRYING TO FIND OUT WHY I HURT AND GET HELP TO STOP THE PAIN.   Thank God a CT was finally done and I have had it repaired with a dacron graft.  I also had a large abdominal aortic aneurysm which was repaired 3 years after the thoracic aneurysm.  Please, if you are in pain,  advocate for yourself and demand they do a CT.   It's your life.  
5520965 tn?1506009040
No. The X-ray may show a suspicious looking shadow on an X-ray that will then cause the interpreting radiologist and doctor to recommend a CT scan to check for the presence of one however, as was my case in 2011 when they first found my ascending aortic aneurysm.
Avatar universal
X-ray may show indirect signs of aneurysm such as widened cardiomediastinal silhouette, but if you are truly concerned about aneurysm, you should get CT chest, preferably CTA chest with contrast.
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