Nuclear Lung Scan

Your doctor has recommended that you receive a lung scan. The role of this procedure is to diagnose pulmonary embolism and/or to evaluate lung disease, such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Our team of specialized doctors, nurses and technicians is led by Louise Thomson, MD and Alessandro D'Agnolo, MD, co-chiefs of Nuclear Medicine.

Why choose the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center for a lung scan?

Before Arriving for Your Exam

  • You can print and fill out the Lung VQ Scan Questionnaire on our Pre-Registration Questionnaire page before arriving to speed the registration process.
  • There is no preparation for this exam.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.

After Arriving

  • Upon arrival, a technologist will explain your procedure and answer any questions you may have.

During Your Exam

  • This is a two-part test.
  • For the first part of your test, which takes about 20 to 30 minutes, you will be asked to sit in a chair and breathe very small particles of a radioactive aerosol. You will not experience any side effects while breathing this material.
  • An initial set of pictures (images) will be taken of your lungs using a special nuclear medicine camera. The camera does not produce any radiation, it simply detects and records the distribution of the radioactive material in your lungs. This part of the test will take about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • For the second part of your test, you will be asked to lie flat on your back on the examination table.
  • You will receive an intravenous injection (in your vein) of a tracer dose of radioactive material. The level of radioactivity used for this procedure is extremely low and has no side effects.
  • Immediately following your injection a second set of images of your lungs will be taken.
  • During both imaging sequences, you will be placed in multiple positions to view your lungs from many angles.
  • Your procedure will take approximately one hour to complete.

After Your Exam

  • Your study will be reviewed by an imaging physician specialist and the results sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you and explain what they mean in relation to your health.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.