Lung Ventilation/Perfusion Scan


What is a Lung Ventilation/Perfusion Scan and what does it do?

This scan will evaluate for pulmonary embolism (PE), the main cause being deep vein thromboses (DVT’s), clots from recent surgery, or trauma.

Test also indicated for evaluation of pulmonary perfusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, low blood oxygen saturation, evaluation and management of carcinoma of the bronchus, evaluation of perfusion affected by emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, inflammatory disease, and cardiac disease.

Who performs the test?

The Nuclear Lung Scan will be performed by a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. The Nuclear Technologist is certified by the NMTCB (Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board), and/or the ARRT (The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists). All of the Nuclear Medicine Technologists at Jackson Hospital are licensed in the state of Florida.

Where does it take place?

The Nuclear Lung Scan will be performed in the Nuclear Medicine Department at Jackson Hospital. This is located in Radiology at the main hospital.

How long does it take?

The total time of the exam varies between 45-60 minutes.

What you can do to make it a success?

  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Remove any metallic objects before your scan.
  • Bring a copy of your physicians order with you to your appointment.

What to do before your exam?

  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Remove any metallic objects before your scan.
  • Bring a copy of your physicians order with you to your appointment.
  • A current chest x-ray is required the same day of the lung scan. If you have not had one, we will perform one the day of your exam.

What happens during your exam?

  • You will be asked to empty your pockets and remove any metallic objects.
  • You will then be asked to breathe an aerosol vapor from a nebulizer for 5 minutes. The aerosol has no taste or smell.
  • You will then lie on the imaging table, and there will be a detector that scans your lungs from several angles.
  • You will then be injected, through an IV, with a small amount of radioisotope. This will allow the blood flow to the lungs to be visualized.
  • Several additional images will be taken after this injection.
  • A comparison is made between the 1st portion (ventilation) and the 2nd portion (perfusion) to see if there are any defects or mismatches noted.

What to do after your exam?

Your images will be processed after your scan. They will then be submitted to the Radiologist for review and interpretation. Occasionally, you will be required to wait in the waiting room until a preliminary report is complete and called to your physician. The written results will be forwarded to the ordering physician when the radiologist’s report is complete.

Contact Information:

Hospital (main operator): (850) 526-2200
Nuclear Medicine Department: (850) 718-2584
Radiology Department (at hospital): (850) 718-2580