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VQ Scan Cost & Labs

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VQ Scan Price in Delhi ₹ 7,600
VQ Scan Price in Gurgaon ₹ 7,600
VQ Scan Price in Noida ₹ 7,600
VQ Scan Price in Other Indian Cities ₹ 7,600

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Frequently Asked Questions About VQ Scan

What is a Lung Scan?

A lung scan is a type of nuclear medicine scan that uses low-risk radioactive substance to examine blood flow and air flow in the lungs. The scanned image will show the radioactive substance in the lungs area and the doctor by looking at it can inform you about how well your lungs are working.

The radioactive substance will gather at areas of abnormal air flow or blood flow, which may indicate a blockage in the lung. The main aim of the scan is to look for evidence of any blood clot in the lungs, called pulmonary embolism.

Two types of lung scans :  There are two types of lung scans – A pulmonary ventilation scan and a pulmonary perfusion scan. If both the tests are performed together, they are called a VQ scan. The ventilation scan usually is done first.

  • Perfusion scans. A lung perfusion scan is a test to see how blood flows to the lungs. During this scan, a radioactive tracer is injected into a vein in your arm. It travels through your blood and into the lungs. Images from this scan can show areas of the lungs that aren’t getting enough blood.
  • Ventilation scans. During this scan, you will be asked to inhale a radioactive tracer gas. The images from this scan can show areas of the lungs that hold too much air or are not getting enough air.

The results of the two scans will match if the lungs are working as they should. You may have a blood clot in the lung if the scan results don’t match.

Why is the Lung Scan Ordered ?

A Lung scan or VQ Scan is used most frequently to find a blood clot that is preventing normal blood flow to part of a lung. A blood clot in the lung can sometimes be fatal, particularly if left untreated. The most common early symptoms are shortness of breath and a sharp pain when you breathe in.

Other symptoms of pulmonary embolus may include:

  • Chest pain
  • rapid heart rate
  • decreased oxygen saturation levels

This scan may also be used to screen for other lung conditions, or to test the lung function in people with lung disease. This scan may be used to test lung function related to the following conditions:

  • lung infections or inflammation, such as bronchitis and pneumonia
  • chronic lung diseases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or emphysema
  • pulmonary effusion, which occurs when fluid collects around the lungs
  • pulmonary artery narrowing or airway obstruction, which can be caused by a tumor
  • See which parts of the lungs are working and which are damaged. Doctors suggest doing this Scan before lung surgery to remove parts of the lung.

How to prepare for VQ scan?

If you have had a test that included the use of radioactive materials – called a nuclear test in the past 48 hours, you should inform your doctor. If you have, the results of the test can be affected if there may be radioactive dye remaining in your body. Your doctor can ask you to have an X-ray of your chest done 24 to 48 hours before your test.

The procedure and the risks associated with the VQ scan will be explained by your doctor. You will also be asked to sign a consent form after the possible risks have been explained to you and you’ve had a chance to ask any questions.

If you have any allergies, you should tell your doctor before the test, particularly to contrast dyes or latex. This will make sure your doctor and the rest of the medical staff are prepared for the possibility of an allergic reaction during the test.

It’s also important that you tell your doctor and also the radiology staff where you are having the VQ scan if you think you are pregnant or if breastfeeding. The contrast dye used may be passed on to the fetus (unborn baby) or through breast milk.

Women who are breast-feeding need to make special preparations for after the scan. This will involve stopping breast-feeding for approximately 24 hours. This is due to the radioactivity in your breast milk after the scan injection. You might need to have bottles of formula or previously expressed breast milk available.

VQ scans can be carried out if you are pregnant. Usually only the injected radiopharmaceutical is used and the dose of radioactivity is reduced to minimize the radiation to the developing fetus (unborn baby).

The doctor will suggest you to wear some loose-fitting clothes without any metal fasteners, or you may be asked to change into a patient gown. It’ll also necessary to remove any metal jewelry, including piercings, so you may wish to also avoid wearing jewelry to the test. Generally, there is no special dietary preparation, such as fasting, before the scan.

What happens during the Lung Scan?

During the lung / VQ scan, you might sit with the camera next to your chest or you might lie on your back with the scanning camera over or under your chest. The camera does not produce any radiation.

Lung Ventilation scan

For the ventilation scan, a mask will be placed over your mouth and nose. With proper guidance from the nuclear medicine technologist who is carrying out the scan, you will be given a small dose of radioactive substance to breathe in through a nebulizer for a few minutes. (A nebulizer is a small machine that changes liquid into an aerosol (or mist), which is breathed in, usually through a tube-like mouthpiece or a special mask that fits over your nose and mouth).

You will then lie down on a table and images of your lungs will be taken at several different angles by a gamma camera. This is a special nuclear medicine camera that identifies where the radioactive material has gone to in the lungs. The ventilation scan takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

In some cases you may be asked to breathe radioactive substance in and out through your mouth for several minutes. You should try not to swallow this gas. It could interfere with the images that need to be taken of the lungs.

You may then be asked to hold your breath for short periods (about 10 seconds) and to change positions. This is done so your lungs can be viewed from other angles. The camera may move to take pictures from different angles. To avoid blurring the pictures, you will have stay very still during the scans.

When the technician has taken all the necessary pictures, the mouthpiece will be removed, and you will be able to leave the scanner. And your breathing will gradually remove the gas from your lungs.

Lung Perfusion scan

For the perfusion scan, a small amount of the radioactive tracer is injected into your arm by the nuclear medicine technologist who is carrying out the scan.

Once the radioactive tracer is injected into a vein in your arm and as the tracer moves through your lungs, the camera will start taking pictures. To get different views of the lungs, the camera may be repositioned around your chest. You will be asked to breathe gently and to keep still while the images are taken; otherwise the images will be blurry and might need to be repeated.

The perfusion scan takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Perfusion scan is usually painless. However sometimes during the scan you may feel a brief sting or pinch from the needle.

The radiopharmaceuticals you received will be eliminated from your body within 24 hours of the scan. Part of the radioactive material will pass out of your body through your urine and the rest of the radioactive material will completely decay away (or disappear).

What are the risks of the Lung Scan / VQ Scan?

There are minimal risks involved in the Lung/VQ scan. Allergic reactions to the radioactive tracer are very rare and will be treated as needed. Most of the tracer will leave the body through your urine or stool within a day. So be sure to promptly flush the toilet and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. The amount of radiation is so small that it is not a risk for people to come in contact with you after the test.

Some people have excessive bleeding, pain or soreness at the injection site. A moist, warm compress applied to the arm may help.

There is always a slight risk of damage to cells or tissue from being exposed to any radiation, even the low-level of radiation released by the radioactive tracer used for this test. But the chance of damage is usually very low compared with the benefits of the test.

When can I expect the results of the Lung Scan?

The results of a Lung Scan are usually ready in 1 day. However, the time that it takes your doctor to receive a written report on the test you have had will vary, depending on:

  • the complexity of the examination;
  • whether more information is needed from your doctor before the examination can be interpreted by the nuclear medicine specialist doctor;
  • whether you have had previous X-rays or other medical imaging that needs to be compared with this new test (this is commonly the case if you have a disease or condition that is being followed to access your progress)

Interpretation of VQ scan results:

The scanned image will show the radioactive substance in the lungs area and the doctor by looking at it can inform you about how well your lungs are working. The results are most often reported in one the following ways:

Normal: When the radioactive tracer is evenly distributed throughout the lungs during ventilation and perfusion the report is considered normal. The results do not show any problem with your lungs.


  • When the perfusion scan is normal but ventilation scan is abnormal. It may be a sign of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This may mean abnormal airways in all or parts of the lung.
  • When the ventilation scan is normal but the perfusion scan is abnormal. This may be a sign of a pulmonary embolism, depending on the difference between the two scans.
  • When both the perfusion and ventilation scans are abnormal. This is usually be caused by certain types of lung disease, such as pneumonia or COPD, or by a pulmonary embolism.
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