How To Prepare
Before your lung scan, tell your
- You are or might be pregnant.
are breast-feeding. The radioactive tracer used in this test can get into your breast milk. Do not breast-feed your baby for 1 or 2 days after this test. During this time, you can give your baby breast milk you stored before the test, or you can give formula. Discard the breast milk you pump for the 1 or 2 days after the test.
A chest X-ray is usually done the same day either before or
after the lung scan.
You may be asked to sign a consent form.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the
need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will
mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A lung scan is usually done by a
nuclear medicine technologist. The scan pictures are usually interpreted by a
nuclear medicine specialist.
need to remove any jewelry that might interfere with the scan. You may need to
take off all or most of your clothes, depending on which area is being examined
(you may be allowed to keep on your underwear if it does not interfere with the
test). You will be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the
During the scan, you will either lie on your back with the
scanning camera positioned over or under your chest, or you will sit with the camera
positioned next to your chest. The camera does not produce any radiation, so
you are not exposed to any more radiation while the scan is being
For the ventilation scan, a mask
will be placed over your mouth and nose. Or you may have a nose clip on your
nose and a tube in your mouth that you use for breathing. You will inhale the
tracer gas or mist through the mask or tube by taking a deep breath and then
holding it. The camera will scan for radiation released by the tracer and
produce pictures as the tracer moves through your lungs. You may be asked to
breathe the gas in and out through your mouth for several minutes. You may then
be asked to hold your breath for short periods (about 10 seconds) and to change
positions so your lungs can be viewed from other angles. The camera may move to
take pictures from different angles. You need to remain very still during the
scans to avoid blurring the pictures.