My X-ray shows scattered peripheral and basal predominant airspace opacities in both the lungs. Is this worrisome?

Q. Why does my X-ray show scattered peripheral and basal predominant airspace in both the lungs?

Answered by
Dr. Ismail Mikdat Kabakus
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 13, 2022 and last reviewed on: Jun 07, 2023

Hello doctor,

I am a 34-year-old male. I have had possible COVID exposure. The symptoms were loss of taste and shortness of breath accompanied by no other identified symptoms. Can it be pneumonia? I would like to consult with a radiologist on whether or not the pneumonia I had has subsided or if additional care is required. I have images from last week and from this week. The images were read, but a report was not generated. The findings in my previous X-ray are enlarged cardiomediastinal silhouette, prominence of the pulmonary vasculature, scattered peripheral and basal predominant airspace opacities in both lungs, greater on the left, likely exacerbated by low lung volumes. There is also possible small left pleural effusion and absence of pneumothorax. I have been advised to get non-emergent, follow-up of standing, posteroanterior, and lateral chest radiograph. My current medications are tablet Prednisone and tablet Azithromycin.



Welcome to

It would be better if I had the opportunity to see your prior X-ray to compare with the most recent one. Your previous X-ray (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity) shows :

1. Upper normal size cardiomediastinal silhouette.

2. Prominence of the pulmonary vasculature.

3. Presence of bibasal airspace opacities likely atelectasis (hypoventilated lung parenchyma).

4. No convincing evidence of pleural effusion and pneumothorax.

5. Bones are unremarkable.

I do not see any findings to suggest COVID (coronavirus disease) pneumonia. It would be great if you can upload the prior X-rays.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Should I be worried about the findings like upper normal size cardiomediastinal silhouette, prominence of the pulmonary vasculature, and bibasal airspace opacities likely atelectasis that is hypoventilated lung parenchyma?



Welcome back to

None of them are worrisome. Atelectasis is reversible. It is a part of the lung usually at the bottom that is not aerated well. It usually happens if you are sick and spend more time in the bed. I advise you to share your previous X-ray as the findings seem normal in the present one.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

There was a mention of a possible pleural effusion in the previous X-ray. Has it resolved itself already? It would be great if you could also elaborate on the upper normal size cardiomediastinal silhouette. Do I need to follow-up for the medication?



Welcome back to

I do not see any evidence of pleural effusion. The heart size is still normal, I do not think you need an additional follow-up regarding heart size. Kindly follow-up for more queries.


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