Lung Scan

Below is a list of some frequently asked questions, but feel free to contact us if you need additional information. We are always pleased to assist you.

Why has my doctor ordered a Lung Scan?

A lung scan is ordered to determine if blood clots in the arteries of the lungs are the cause of chest pain, shortness of breath, or abnormal findings on x-rays or laboratory examinations.

What should I do to prepare for the Lung Scan?

There is no preparation required for a lung scan.

How is a Lung Scan performed?

There are two parts to a lung scan.

The first part is known as the Ventilation Scan .

For the ventilation scan, a mask is placed over your face and you inhale a radioactive aerosol. A scan is then performed with a gamma camera, which identifies the distribution of the aerosol in the lungs.

The second part of the examination is the Perfusion Scan .

The perfusion scan involves an injection of a radioactive isotope tracer into a vein in the arm using a small needle. Immediately after the injection, scans are done with a gamma camera, which show the distribution of the injected radioisotope in the lungs.

What are the risks for a Lung Scan?

There are no significant risks associated with a lung scan. A radiation dose received from a lung scan is similar to that of a chest x-ray.

What are the alternatives to a Lung Scan?

A CT scan with injection of contrast agent or a pulmonary angiogram may be done as an alternative or in addition to the lung scan.

What can I expect after the procedure?

There are no after-effects from the lung scan.

Will other tests be ordered?

A chest x-ray performed within 6 hours of the lung scan is needed for comparison. Additional tests including pulmonary angiography or a CT scan may be suggested based on lung scan results.