apical zone

The apical zone is one of the four chest radiograph zones and an important location for missed diagnoses when reporting a frontal chest radiograph and makes up one of the "check areas". It is sometimes thought of as a subdivision of the upper zone.

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph
  • portion of the lungs that lie above the inferior margin of the clavicles on a frontal chest radiograph (see Figure 1)

Related pathology

The apices and upper zones are preferentially affected by pathology that is related to inhalation. The upper portion of the lungs have a positive ventilation mismatch when compared to the bases, where there is preferential perfusion. Common conditions involving the apical zone include:

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