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  • Lung Scan

  • A lung scan is performed to help evaluate the blood and air flow to the lungs. It is mainly used to help detect the presence of a blood clot in the lungs.

    A chest x-ray should be taken no more than twenty-four hours prior to the lung scan. There is no other preparation for the exam.

    What to expect

    A lung scan consists of two parts: The first part of the exam will look at the blood flow to your lungs and the second part of the exam will look at the air flow to your lungs. A radiologist will review the first part of the exam to determine if the second part is needed.

    • Upon arrival, you will be asked to lie down on your back. You will be injected with a small amount of radioactive material. There are no side effects from the injection. The radioactive material will allow the radiologist to view images of your lungs.
    • Once the injection is complete, different images of your lungs will be taken. Each view will take a few minutes. Once all the images are complete, they will be reviewed by a radiologist along with your chest x-ray. The radiologist will determine if part two of the exam is necessary.
    • If the second part is needed, you will be given a face mask to put over your nose and mouth. The mask is connected to a breathing machine. You will have plenty of air to breathe. A small amount of radioactive gas will be injected into the mask. There are no side effects to the gas.
    • The technologist will give you a few breathing instruction while he/she takes pictures of your lungs. The radioactive gas is quickly expelled out of your lungs and into the breathing machine.

    Your images will be read by a board-certified radiologist and the report will be sent to your doctor.

    To schedule an exam please call 401-793-4480. For more information about general nuclear medicine at The Miriam Hospital, call 401-793-4118 or e-mail