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Lung Ventilation and Perfusion Scan

A Lung Ventilation Scan looks at how air (oxygen) moves through your child’s lungs.  A Lung Perfusion Scan looks at how blood supply flows through the lungs.


There is no preparation for this test.  Your child can eat and drink as usual.

What to expect

The scan will take about 1 hour to complete.  One parent or guardian must always stay with the child.  Siblings are not allowed in the room during the test.  Eating and drinking are not allowed in the room.

This test is done in 2 parts.

Part 1: Ventilation

Your child will be required to breathe in some oxygen containing a small amount of a radioactive medicine. The medicine will be given by breathing through a mouthpiece for 5 minutes.  A small nose clamp will be used to prevent escape of the radioactive medicine through the nose.  

This medicine will allow us to take pictures of how oxygen (air) is flowing through your child’s lungs.  After your child has finished breathing in the medicine, they will lie down on a narrow bed and a seat belt will be placed across their across their body for safety and to help them remain still while pictures are taken with a special camera. 

Your child should not feel any discomfort during the scan and can choose to be distracted (for example, watch a movie).

Part 2: Perfusion

Your child will need Intravenous (IV) access for this part. An IV is a needle that is inserted into a vein, in the arm or back of the hand. A small amount of  radioactive medicine will be given through the IV access. 

This medicine will be given while your child is still lying on our narrow bed and will allow us to take pictures of the blood supply to your child’s lungs.  

Your child should not feel any discomfort during the scan and can choose to be distracted (for example, watch a movie). 

Post test

It is important to give your child extra fluids for the rest of the day to keep them hydrated and help the medicines leave the body quicker.  

The scan results are given by a doctor specialized in Nuclear Medicine and not by the technologist doing the test.  A report is sent to your doctor’s office, usually within 2-3 business days. 

Please call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 416-813-6065 if you have any questions about the procedure or if you need to change the appointment.

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