VQ (Ventilation Perfusion) scan is an imaging mechanism performed to examine two main functionalities of your lungs. This test involves a nuclear medicine scan that utilizes radioactive substances to analyze the flow of blood (perfusion) and airflow (ventilation) through your lungs. These radio-pharmaceuticals (nuclear medicines) help to provide a clear image through your scanning procedure. VQ scans are mainly carried out to determine the presence of blood clots in your lungs. This diagnostic process is termed as pulmonology embolism (PE).
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A VQ scan works in two sub parts. The first sub part involves breathing in radioactive substance to visualize the flow of air through your lungs. Patients are given a small dosage of nuclear medicine to breathe in, using a nebulizer. A nebulizer is a medical device used to transform liquid form of medicine into gaseous form. There is a small tube connected to this device containing a face mask at its end that fits on your nose and mouth. The mask connected to the nebulizer is held near your nasal region in order to help your breathe in aerosol (mist) form of nuclear medicine.
While you breathe in the radioactive material, radiologist will ask you to lie down in order to scan your lungs. A special radioactive material camera called gamma camera is used here to picturize your lungs. Images are taken from various different angles and the results are recorded. As the drugs flow through your lungs, they are easily visible under the gamma camera and can be located easily. In such a way, your doctor checks if there are any blocked sections to the flow of these gases.
The second sub part of a VQ test involves usage of different nuclear drug. These radioactive drugs are injected into the vein of your arm. As the medicine travels through your veins to your lungs, the radiologist repeats the process of imaging using gamma camera. Many images are captured at several angles. Your doctor will ask you to breathe gently while the scanning process is being carried out. If the scanning methodology visualizes any kind of gaps in your blood vessels, it indicates that there is absence of these radioactive substances in that region. Hence, this shows that there is a blockage present in the section visualized.
The complete procedure of VQ scan takes around 30 to 60 minutes. Radioactive medicine inducted into your system gets eliminated from your body within 24 hours. Some part of these radio-pharmaceuticals disappears right away, whereas the remaining part is flushed out from your system while you urinate.
To summarize, the article gives you a detailed knowledge about VQ scan test. The procedure of this test along with its two sub parts is also explained. If you have any queries regarding VQ scan test, you can discuss it with your radiologist before undergoing the scan test.