Lung Perfusion and Ventilation Scintigraphy



Supervision of a scintigraphy by a nuclear medicine technician (MTRA)

Supervision of a scintigraphy
by a nuclear medicine technician (MTRA)

Scintigram of ventilation/perfusion in the lungs

Scintigram of ventilation / perfusion in the lungs

Nuclear medicine in general

In nuclear medical examinations (scintigraphies) low-level radiolabelled medications (radiotracers) are used in the diagnosis of disease.

The radioactive test substance is injected into an arm vein. It is distributed throughout the body by the blood system, and depending upon its composition, accumulates in the target organ. The radiation produced (gamma rays) has low strength but a wide range. This means it can be visualized outside the body as an image or series of images using a special device (gamma camera).

Most scintigraphies cause an exposure to radiation equal to a person’s natural annual exposure. As all nuclear medical procedures involve such exposure – albeit only slight – to radiation, they can only be carried out when the patient is not pregnant.


Lung perfusion and ventilation scintigraphy

Lung perfusion and ventilation scintigraphy can be used to diagnose lung embolisms and evaluate the patient’s regional lung function.

Unfortunately, lung perfusion scintigraphy cannot be done when the patient suffers from protein intolerance.



Please bring with you:

  • Where available, existing examination results (imaging, clinical examinations, surgical or hospital discharge reports, lab test results)
  • A towel

If you are asthmatic, please bring your asthma medication (bronchodilators) with you to the examination.




Prior to the examination you will be questioned about the medical history of your illness to date and your present symptoms. The doctor will also check whether there is a justifiable indication for the examination, i.e. whether a lung perfusion and ventilation scintigraphy is medically useful and necessary.

First you will be given a low-level radioactive medication (radiotracer), which is mixed with the air that you breathe in using a special apparatus with a system of tubes. The first recordings are made immediately after this.

During the examination you will be lying comfortably – usually on your back – on the examination table. The recording system (gamma camera) moves slowly around your body, but will not touch you as it does so. Please follow instructions exactly, as they are very important for the quality of the image.

The recording time will be approx. 20 minutes.

In the subsequent, second round of examination, a radiotracer will also be injected into a vein, in order to assess the blood circulation of the lung.

The second part of the examination will proceed in a similar way to the first and will also last circa 20 minutes. Usually, you will be able to leave the practice immediately after the examination.

A detailed report with the results of the examination will be sent to the doctor who referred you to us. This will usually reach your doctor within a week; in case of medical necessity, it may also come at short notice on the same or the following day.