Lung Scans

This test is generally used to detect clots in the lungs.

A lung scan is an imaging test to look at your lungs and help diagnose specific lung problems. A lung scan may also be used to see how well treatment is working.

A lung scan is a type of nuclear imaging test. This means that a tiny amount of radioactive matter is used during the scan.

Take all of your usual medications.

There is no need to fast for any part of the lung scan.

The two scans are usually done together and will take about an hour. The ventilation scan takes about 20 minutes, and the perfusion scan takes about 10 minutes.

There are two parts to this test. During the first part of the test (about 20 minutes), you will breathe a radioactive aerosol through special tubing. You will be required to take several deep breaths. Then a series of images are taken using a specialised camera. During the second part of the test (which takes about 10 minutes), you will be given an injection into a vein (usually near the elbow). Then a further series of images will be taken.

There are no side effects from the gas or injection. The gas will not make you drowsy or sick. The injection does NOT contain iodine and is safe to give to all people even if you have had a previous allergic reaction to contrast injections. Although you will be required to keep still during the scan, the procedure is entirely painless.

This scan can be done on pregnant women if clinically indicated; however, you must inform the technologist if you are pregnant to adjust the amounts of the materials needed.

You can drive home after the scan. You will not be drowsy in any way.

In general, the scans and results are sent to your doctor the next working day.

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