Your Lung Perfusion Scan explained

This patient information is for pregnant patients having a Lung Scan. It aims to tell you what a Lung Scan is and what will happen.

Your lung scan perfusion explainedTo view a PDF you may need to download Adobe Reader.

General information

A doctor has asked that we take a picture of your lungs.

If the appointment clashes with another outpatient appointment or test, or you are unable to attend on this day, please contact this department as soon as possible.  We can then reschedule the test and assign the appointment to another patient.

As the test involves small amounts of radiation, we ask that you are not accompanied by children under 18 or anyone else who may be pregnant. You may bring one adult with you to the department.

If you have mobility issues, are incontinent or claustrophobic please contact the department on the number provided.

Benefit and risks of the test

Everyone receives some radiation every day from the radioactivity in the air, food we eat and even from space.  The amount of radiation in a nuclear medicine test is similar to your natural exposure over one year so the risks associated with it are low.

The main benefit of the test is making the correct diagnosis, so you can get the treatment that is right for you.  This benefit is far greater than the small risk from radiation for both you and your child.

If you have any concerns, please contact the department in advance or ask to speak to someone on the day of your scan.

What does the test involve?

The test involves giving a small injection of a radioactive tracer into one of the veins in your hands or arms.  This allows us to look at the blood flow in the lungs and there should be no ill effects from the injection. Once the injection is given, we will take pictures of your lungs with a Gamma Camera (see photos).  If you have not recently had a chest x-ray, you may be asked to undergo one during your visit.  After the pictures have been taken, you will be free to leave.

If this test is inconclusive, you may be required to attend for a further test.


If you are breast-feeding please inform the department as quickly as possible as special arrangements may have to be made.

Please bring with you a list of any medication that you are on (your repeat prescription sheet if possible).  If you are asthmatic please bring your inhaler with you when you come to the department.

There is no special preparation required for this test. Please eat and drink as normal.

After the test

For the rest of the day, you must take extra care to wash your hands thoroughly after toilet use, sit down when you use the toilet and to flush the toilet twice.  You must also continue to drink extra fluids and empty your bladder frequently. This will improve the clearance of the radiation from your body.

When the test is completed, the images will be reviewed and a report will be available to the doctor who has requested the test.

The camera

The Gamma Camera that takes the pictures has an open design and the majority of patients complete the test without any discomfort.

Department of Nuclear Medicine

Lincoln County Hospital      01522 573103

Grantham Hospital              01476 464777