Lumbar Spine - PA/APThis is a featured page

Radiographic Positioning

Other related pages of interest

Name of projection Lumbar Spine - AP / PA
Area Covered T11 to distal sacrum - including lumbar vertebral bodies, intervertebral joints, spinous and transverse processes, SI joints and sacrum
Pathology shown Pathology of lumbar vertebrae - fractures, scoliosis and neoplastic processes
Radiographic Anatomy Lumbar Spine Radiographic Anatomy
IR Size & Orientation 35 x 43 cm larger patient
30 x 35 cm smaller patient
Film / Screen Combination Regular
(CR and DR as recommended by manufacturer)
Bucky / Grid Moving or Stationary Grid
Filter No
Exposure 75 kVp x 35 mAs or
breathing technqiue 75kVp x 35 mA with 1.6 seconds exposure time see - lumbar AP breathing technique
FFD / SID 100 cm
Central Ray CR perpendicular to IR
Larger patient - centre to iliac crest (L4-5)
Smaller patient - centre to L3 (lower costal margin) (4cm above iliac crest)
Collimation Four sides of collimation
Collimate near IR margins
Markers Lateral
Marker orientation AP
Shielding Gonadal (check your department's policy guidelines)
Respiration Suspend respiration on expiration or use breathing technique
  • Patient supine on table
  • Place arms at the side or on the chest
  • Knees flexed (flexion of knees straightens the lumbar spine by reducing lordosis) opening up the intervertebral disk spaces
  • Ensure no rotation of pelvis or torso
  • CR perpendicular to IR
    • Larger patient - centre to iliac crest (L4-5)
    • Smaller patient - centre to L3 (lower costal margin) (4cm above iliac crest)
  • May be performed prone as it places the interspaces more closely parallel with the diverging rays of the X-ray beam see lumbar spine radiography
  • May be performed erect to demonstrate the natural weight bearing alignment of the spine


Area Covered



see imaging vertebral body wedge fractures
Special Notes

Latest page update: made by AndyC , Jun 27 2011, 2:55 AM EDT (about this update About This Update AndyC Edited by AndyC

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