A Patient's Guide to a Lung Scan

What is the purpose of the Lung Scan?


The purpose of the Lung Scan is to detect clots that may have travelled in your bloodstream and lodged themselves in your lungs.

What happens when I arrive in the Nuclear Medicine Department?


When you arrive in the Nuclear Medicine Department, a Nuclear Medicine Technologist will explain to you their Lung Scan procedure. There
is usually two parts to a Lung Scan:
1) Ventilation Scan
2) Perfusion Scan

What happens during the Ventilation Scan?


The Ventilation Scan assesses the air supply going to your lungs. You will breathe in (through a mouth piece) for about three to five minutes
an aerosol labelled with a radiopharmaceutical. You will not feel any side effects from this material. After the breathing portion, the
Technologist will take pictures of your lungs using a machine called a Gamma camera. This will take about 15-20 minutes.

What happens next?


Once your Ventilation Scan is completed, you will then have a Perfusion Lung Scan. The Perfusion Scan assesses the blood supply going to
your lungs. The Technologist will inject through a vein (usually in your arm) a radiopharmaceutical that will follow the blood supply to your
lungs. Again, you will not feel any side effects from this material. The Technologist will then take the same pictures as the ventilation portion
of the study. This will take another 15-20 minutes.

Is there any preparation for the Lung Scan?


There is NO preparation for the scan. You may eat or drink and continue taking any medication you might be on, prior to the test.
You may be required to have a Chest X-ray before or after the Lung Scan.

How safe is the Lung Scan?


Any diagnostic procedure may have some risks, and you should consult your physician regarding the risks and benefits of this procedure. The
material used causes minimal side effects, and allergic reactions are rare. The test and material are used routinely worldwide under physician
supervision.

When will I get my results?


The Nuclear Medicine Physician will dictate a report on the results of your test. The report will be sent to your referring doctor. You should
make an appointment with your referring doctor who will discuss with you the results of your Lung Scan. Your referring doctor may get in touch with you as soon as they have the results.

Who can answer any other questions I might have?


Your personal physician, or a physician, nurse, or Technologist in the Nuclear Medicine Department.

Please note that this information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. The user of this site should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

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