V/Q Lung Scan

What is a V/Q Lung Scan (Ventilation and Quantitative Scan)?

A lung scan is a two-part test.  The first part is called a ventilation scan and shows how well you get the air in and out of our lungs when you breathe. The second part shows how well the blood flows to your lungs.


How do I prepare for the exam?

You must have a chest X-ray within 24 hours prior to your lung scan. If no current films are available, you will be asked to go to the Radiology Department for an X-ray on the day of your Lung Scan. If you have films from your doctor’s office, please bring these with you.


What will happen during the exam?

You will be lying comfortably on a scan table with a gamma camera positioned under the table.  For the first part, or ventilation scan, an oxygen mask will be placed over your nose and mouth.  You will be asked to breathe through the mask while a small amount of a radioactive gas is released into the systems. Pictures will be taken as you breathe in and out. It is important that the mask stays on during the entire procedure. This mask will be in place for approximately five minutes.

The second part of the scan is a perfusion scan. The technologist will inject a radioactive tracer into a vein in your arm. This will allow the technologist to take pictures of the blood flow to your lungs. Pictures will be taken in different projections, using the gamma camera. These pictures take 15-30 minutes.


How long will the procedure take?

The entire procedure takes approximately one hour. Please allow for extra time if you have not had a chest X-ray within 24 hours.


What will happen after the exam?

After the exam, the technologist will process your images using a computer. A radiologist will evaluate the images and dictate a report within 24 hours. The report will be sent to your physician.


How will I receive my results?

You will get the results of the exam from your doctor.

Important: If there is any possibility that you are PREGNANT or NURSING a baby, please speak with your referring physician before your scheduled appointment.

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