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VQ Lung Scan

What is a VQ lung scan?
How do you get ready for the test?
What is done during the test?
How long will the test take?
How do you get to your test?


What is a VQ lung scan?

Your doctor has suggested you/your child have a VQ lung scan as part of the evaluation at National Jewish Health. A VQ scan is a test that shows how the air goes into the lungs. It also shows how blood circulates through the lungs. Your doctor will use this information to determine the best treatment for you.


How do you get ready for the test?

  • Wear loose fitting clothing. Avoid clothing that has metal or other clothing fasteners like buttons or zippers over the chest. You can be given a gown to wear if this is not possible.
  • You may have a chest x-ray done before the test starts.


What is done during the test?

The nuclear medicine technologist will explain the VQ scan to you before you start. Ask questions if you don’t understand. The technologist will have you/your child remove clothing that has metal or other clothing fasteners like buttons or zippers. You will be given a hospital gown to wear. You will lie on an imaging table during the VQ scan. It is important to lie still during the VQ scan.

You will start the test by breathing in a radioactive gas mixed with oxygen. A radioisotope has a low level of radioactivity so it can be seen during the scan. While you breathe in the gas, images will be taken to show the air going into the lungs.

Next a liquid radioisotope will be injected into a vein. This will show how blood circulates through the lungs. After this is done, at least 8 images will be taken.

The VQ scan does not hurt. You will feel a prick when the liquid is injected.


How long will the test take?

A VQ scan will take about 1 hour to complete.


How do you get to your test?

Your appointment is in radiology. Radiology is in on the third floor of the Smith Building.  On the day of your test, first report to the Admissions Desk just inside the Main Entrance. Admissions will direct you to the appropriate location for your test.

 

If you have questions, or will not be able to make your appointment, please call: 303.398.1611.

Get directions and see a campus map of National Jewish Health.

 

This information has been approved by Will Cook, ARRT, MA and Eric Yager, ARRT, BS (February 2012).

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If you have questions, or will not be able to make your appointment, please call: 303.398.1611.

Get directions to and see a campus map of National Jewish Health.

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