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V/Q Scan (Ventilation/Perfusion Scan)

This scan is used to detect blood clots in the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). This test can also be used to determine the function of the lungs prior to surgery for emphysema.

This scan is carried out in two parts. For the first part, a radioactive material is breathed in and images are acquired straight after to look at the airflow to the lungs. For the second part, a radiopharmaceutical is injected into a vein in the arm and more images are acquired to look at the blood flow to the lungs.

Preparation: Nil.
Test Duration: 45 minutes
Are there any after effects: No

Clinical Indications:

  • To look for evidence of pulmonary embolism
  • To assess treatment of pulmonary embolism
  • Emphysema surgery assessment

This wedge-shaped area of lung shows normal ventilation but absent perfusion – typical for a pulmonary embolus.

Click to enlarge.