Courtesy of Intermountain Medical Imaging, Boise, Idaho.
A lung scan is a test that uses a radioactive tracer to look at the lungs. Areas of the lung that retain too much air show up as bright or "hot" spots on the pictures. Areas that are not receiving enough air show up as dark or "cold" spots.
Figure 1 shows normal blood flow in healthy lungs. Figure 2 shows dark areas where blood clots (pulmonary emboli) are preventing normal blood flow through the lungs.
Current as of: February 19, 2016
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Myo Min Han, MD - Nuclear Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.