Lung (V/Q) Scan

What is a Lung (V/Q) Scan?
(also known as: Lung Ventilation and Perfusion Scan)
A Lung (V/Q) scan, also called a Ventilation (V) Perfusion (Q) scan, is made up of two scans that examine air flow and blood flow in your lungs. The first scan measures how well air flows through your lungs. The second scan looks at where the blood flows in your lungs.

If the lungs are working properly, the air flow seen on the ventilation scan will match the blood flow seen on the perfusion scan. A mismatch between the ventilation and perfusion scans (V better than Q) could indicate a blockage or PE.


How long does a Lung (V/Q) Scan take?
Please allow approximately 1 hour for this scan to be completed.

What preparation is there for a Lung (V/Q) Scan?
You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for a VQ scan, though it is advised that you should have had a recent chest x ray done.
Please bring your referral from the doctor, any relevant recent scans/tests, and your Medicare card.

What does a Lung (V/Q) Scan involve?
VQ scans involve two separate scans.

In the first scan:

You will be asked to breathe in a small amount of low-risk radioactive gas through a tube, for around five minutes the gas won’t make you feel any different
You will lie on a table and must be careful not to move around
The table will move under a scanner, and you must lie very still
The scanner will take photos of your chest and the airflow in your lungs

In the second scan:

Your doctor will inject a low-risk radioactive dye into your arm. The dye will travel through your blood and into your lungs, it won’t make you feel any different
The table will move under a scanner, and you must lie very still
The scanner will take images of the blood flow in your lungs

Each scan takes around 15 minutes.

When are the results available?
After your scan is completed a Nuclear Medicine Physician will review your scan and write a report of the results. This report and the scan images will be sent securely electronically to your referring doctor/specialist. If you require your results to be sent to a different doctor please advise the staff on the day of your scan.

Are there any costs for this scan?
No, your scan will be Bulk Billed. This means there is NO out of pocket cost for you if you qualify for Medicare.

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