We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are Kerley Lines?

Mary McMahon
Updated Feb 10, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Kerley lines are radiographic findings consistent with fluid in the interstitial tissue of the lungs. They are divided into several types based on their visual appearance, which can provide more information on their origins and nature. Patients with Kerley lines may have a number of different conditions, but congestive heart failure is a common cause. During treatment for the disease that caused the fluid buildup, follow-up x-rays can indicate whether the patient’s lungs are healing in response to therapy.

Doctors may request chest x-rays for patients with suspected lung or heart disease to gather data on conditions inside the chest and establish a reference to use in follow-up visits. People with certain parasites or conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis and some cancers can develop pulmonary edema, where fluid gathers in and around the lungs. The interstitium contains blood vessels and small sacs known as alveoli that exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. When fluid builds up in this region, patients may struggle to breathe, the level of oxygen in the blood can drop, and Kerley lines develop.

In patients with Kerley lines, the x-ray will have a fine threading of opaque lines, indicating that fluid is present. Kerley A lines are long and typically do not branch. B and C lines are shorter, with B lines tending to take on a parallel, ladder-like appearance. A radiologist can review the film and discuss the findings with the patient. Other issues may be visible on the x-ray as well, such as pockets of fluid created by disease.

Chronic irritation and inflammation in the lungs can lead to scarring, which will decrease overall lung function. If a patient has Kerley lines and other traces of lung disease, it may be necessary to perform a spirometry study. In this testing, a technician guides the patient through a series of breathing exercises with equipment to measure lung capacity and other characteristics. This can provide information about the patient’s level of function and also creates a baseline to use in follow-up studies that may determine whether the patient’s lung function is improving.

Treatment options for a patient with Kerley lines depend on the cause. Medications may help manage issues like parasites and cancers. Some patients need diet and lifestyle modifications. Severe organ damage may qualify a patient for a transplant to replace failing organs that may be contributing to edema and other problems. Careful monitoring throughout treatment can identify early signs of complications such as secondary illnesses or bad reactions to medications.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.