left side of the chest against filmholder (cassette); beam from right at a distance of six feet; lesion located behind the left side of the heart or in the base of the lung are often invisible on the PA view because the heart or diaphragm shadow hides it; the left lateral will generally show such lesions; the left lateral is thus the customary lateral view as it is the best view to visualize lesions in the left thorax. Also, the heart is less magnified when it is closer to the film.
• Good for viewing area behind heart (retrosternal airspace — between the heart and sternum).
• Marked with a "R" or "L" according to whether the right or the left side of the patient was against the film — left lateral or right lateral.
To visualize a lesion in the right thorax, it is better to get a right lateral view.
A fundamental rule of roentgenography — Try to get the lesion as close to the film as possible.