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Costophrenic angle

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The costophrenic angle is the clinical term used for the junction between the costal and diaphragmatic pleura as seen on a two-dimensional chest x-ray, which is otherwise referred to as the costodiaphragmatic recess. On a radiograph, the costophrenic angle appears as a downward sharply-pointed dark indentation between the light colored diaphragm and adjacent chest wall.

Excess fluid in the pleural cavity is likely to collect at the costophrenic angle due to gravity, which on an x-ray results in the costophrenic angles no longer appearing sharp and distinct. This is referred to as blunting of the costophrenic angles and may signify that a pleural effusion is present. 

Terminology English: Costophrenic angle
Latin: Angulus costophrenicus
Denfition Junction between the costal and diaphragmatic pleura within the right and left pleural cavities as seen on a radiograph

Learn more about chest X-rays with this study unit (and article):

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