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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

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Lung Nuclear Medicine Scan

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Courtesy of Intermountain Medical Imaging, Boise, Idaho.

A lung scan is a test that uses a radioactive tracer to look at the lungs. Areas of the lung that retain too much air show up as bright or "hot" spots on the pictures. Areas that are not receiving enough air show up as dark or "cold" spots.

Figure 1 shows normal blood flow in healthy lungs. Figure 2 shows dark areas where blood clots (pulmonary emboli) are preventing normal blood flow through the lungs.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Myo Min Han, MD - Nuclear Medicine
Current as of October 1, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 01, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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