The art and science of straight lines in radiology

Cynthia M. Day, Aaron Sodickson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this article is to review the physical basis for straight radiographic lines, identify the possible components that may form a straight line interface in the body, provide illustrative examples across multiple organ systems and modalities, and explore how the detection of these interfaces can support specific diagnoses. CONCLUSION. Detection of a straight line interface can help the radiologist recognize otherwise difficult or subtle pathologic processes, and identification of its components can provide valuable clues to diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)W166-W173
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Air-fluid level
  • Fluid-fluid level
  • Hematocrit level
  • Lipohemarthrosis
  • Straight lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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