Lung Scans (Perfusion and Ventilation Studies)


Lung Perfusion Scan: Lung perfusion scintigraphy, lung scintiscan, pulmonary scan, radioactive perfusion scan, radionuclide lung scan, ventilation-perfusion scan, V/Q scan. Lung Ventilation Scan: Aerosol lung scan, radioactive ventilation scan, ventilation scan, VQ lung scan, xenon lung scan.

To assess pulmonary blood flow and ventilation to assist in diagnosis of pulmonary embolism.

Patient Preparation
There are no food, fluid, activity, or medication restrictions unless by medical direction. The health-care provider (HCP) may request a chest x-ray 24 to 48 hr before or immediately after this procedure is performed. Protocols may vary among facilities.

Normal FindingsLung Perfusion Scan

  • Diffuse and homogeneous uptake of the radioactive material by the lungs.

Lung Ventilation Scan

  • Equal distribution of radioactive gas throughout both lungs and a normal wash-out phase.

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions

  • PE

Timely notification to the requesting HCP of any critical findings and related symptoms is a role expectation of the professional nurse. A listing of these findings varies among facilities.

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