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Lung Scan

A lung scan (medically referred to as a pulmonary ventilation-perfusion scan) is a test that may be obtained in the case of suspected pulmonary embolism. During this test the patient inhales an inert gas tracer and then is injected intravenously by a second tracer. After each part of the test, the lung is scanned with a nuclear medicine gamma camera that detects how these tracers are taken up in the lung. Areas of the lung with poor uptake by the intravenous tracer but good uptake by the inhalational tracer may suggest pulmonary emboli. The results are usually reported as "normal" (pulmonary embolism very unlikely), "low probability" (pulmonary embolism unlikely but may need further evaluation), "indeterminate" (difficult to assess presence or absence of pulmonary embolism), or "high probability" (pulmonary embolism is probably present).

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