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Pulmonary Fibrosis

X-Ray Interpretation



A week ago,my wife had a pre admission chest x-ray for the surgical repair of her broken arm. Her x-ray showed some patchy density in the lateral base or ripple markers to the right base and through the surgeon`s nurse it was recommended that she have this checked out. Can you give me some further information about patchy density or ripple markers?


Patchy densities can be many, many things. Common conditions that cause patchy densities include pneumonia, fluid, and interstitial lung disease. Normally, a follow-up chest x-ray or CT scan can help sort out the cause. 

I am not sure what the nurse meant by ripple marker but perhaps they meant to say nipple marker. Nipple markers are metal tags that are placed on the breasts to help identify where the nipples are. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if a spot on a chest x-ray is really in the lung or if it is simply due to the nipple.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University