Because the outlines of the large vessels near your heart — the aorta and pulmonary arteries and veins — are visible on an x-ray, they may reveal aortic aneurysms, other blood vessel problems, or congenital heart disease. A chest x-ray can detect the presence of calcium in your heart or blood vessels.

The process is painless and simple. It can show your doctor if you have:

  • Fluid in or around your lungs
  • An enlarged heart
  • Blood vessel problems
  • Congenital heart disease (heart problems you’re born with)
  • Calcium buildup in the heart or blood vessels, which could make a heart attack more likely
X-ray of someone's chest