Chest 85 Divergence and Division

1 Sep



When looking at Chest X-rays, the appearance of the pulmonary vessels in the lungs has always intrigued me. The pulmonary artery branches outwards in a series of divisions and subdivisions through trunks and twigs to the periphery of the lung, looking for all the world like an upturned tree with the roots shining against the sky, or like baobab trees in Central Africa where I was raised. The pulmonary vessels tell a lot about the patient’s condition for those who take time to look at them and the appearance of any dilatation, tortuosity, pruning, or irregularity help to make a diagnosis.

The man in this X-ray had a pulmonary haemangioma – a congenital tumour of the blood vessels – in his left lung that produced a clump of tortuous vessels which short-circuited the lung and shunted blood back to the heart. The stress of extra blood returning placed enough strain on the heart to cause heart failure.

In this image I have introduced the silhouette of a huge fig tree stripped of its leaves after a cyclone with the winding branches meandering across the image. The large blood vessels can clearly be seen in the lung fields. 

5 Responses to “Chest 85 Divergence and Division”

  1. Green Cathedral of South Africa September 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Reblogged this on My Choice and commented:
    Using X-rays of human body as base for Artwork! Not only love the original idea but also the results!!!

  2. Anita C. Miller September 2, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Tony, I think this is wonderful! I love the fall colors and I immediately thought of a campfire. I now see a face in this like a jack o lantern with a frown which goes well with the tragic story. Anyway, I always learn something and I love the artwork. Best, Anita

    • Xraypics September 2, 2013 at 8:24 am #

      Many thanks, what a nice comment. The pictures often surprise me with the patterns and textures they throw up. Tony

  3. MikeP September 2, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    I like your reference to the baobab tree and the back story of the patient. Stress can come back to haunt us and to me this image shows that stress.

    • Xraypics September 3, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      Thanks Mike. I appreciate your comment. There are so many things in medical terminology that reflect back to the appearance of familiar objects (like food and fruit). To the best of my knowledge the baobab is not one of them, but the analogy is appropriate. Cheers, Tony

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