Lung Scan Procedure
Lung scan is a test that is most commonly used to detect blood clots that are preventing normal blood flow to part of a lung (pulomonary embolism). Lung scan procedures are ordered for:
- Detection of a blood clot in the lung called a pulmonary embolus (PE)
- Follow-up on therapy you received to treat a pulmonary embolus
- Evaluation of lung function prior to thoracotomy
A Lung Scan Procedure
There are no dietary or medication restrictions. Upon arrival you will be registered by our office staff. A certified nuclear medicine technologist will explain the procedure.
A lung scan occurs in two parts. The first part is the ventilation scan. You will be asked to breathe a mist that contains an isotope for four minutes. This is followed by taking images of your lungs from multiple projections. The second part is the perfusion scan. Upon completion of the ventilation images, the certified nuclear medicine technologist will administer an isotope intravenously. The isotope will travel to your lungs by way of blood circulation. The same images that were taken during the ventilation scan will be repeated for the perfusion scan. Typically a lung scan will take one hour.
What Happens During a Lung Scan Procedure?
A certified nuclear medicine technologist will verify your identity and explain the procedure. You will then be asked to breathe a mist that contains a small amount of a radioactive isotope for four minutes. Upon completion, the technologist will take you to a camera room, have you lie down on the imaging table and take several pictures of your lung from multiple angles. There are no side effects and test is painless.
Upon completion of the ventilation scan, the certified nuclear medicine technologist will administer an isotope intravenously. He or she will repeat the same images that were done during the ventilation scan. A board certified nuclear medicine physician will review, compare your ventilation and perfusion lung scan, and interpret it. The results of the lung scan will be available to your physician within one day.