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Diagnostic Tests 2023

Lung scintigraphy: what é, what it is for and how é done

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Lung scintigraphy: what é, what it is for and how é done
Lung scintigraphy: what é, what it is for and how é done

Lung scintigraphy is a diagnostic test that evaluates the presence of changes in the air passage or blood circulation to the lungs, being done in 2 steps, called inhalation, also known as ventilation, or perfusion. To perform the exam, it is necessary to use a drug with radioactive capabilities, such as Technetium 99m or Gallium 67, and a device to capture the formed images.

Pulmonary scintigraphy is mainly indicated to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary embolism, but also to observe the existence of other lung diseases, such as infarction, pulmonary emphysema or blood vessel deformities, for example.

Where it's made

The pulmonary scintigraphy exam is performed in imaging clinics that contain this device, and can be performed free of charge, if requested by a SUS doctor, as well as performed in private clinics through the he alth plan or by paying the value is, on average, R$ 800 reais, which varies depending on the place performed.

What is it for

Lung scintigraphy is used in the following cases:

  • Pulmonary thromboembolism, for diagnosis and disease control, as the main indication. Understand what it is and what can cause pulmonary embolism;
  • Observe areas of the lungs where there is no adequate ventilation, a situation called pulmonary shunt;
  • Preparation of pulmonary surgeries, by observing the blood circulation of the organ;
  • Identify causes of unexplained pulmonary diseases, such as emphysema, fibrosis or pulmonary hypertension;
  • Evaluation of congenital diseases, such as malformations of the lungs or blood circulation.

Scintigraphy is a type of exam that is also performed to observe changes in other organs, such as kidneys, heart, thyroid and brain, for example, helping to observe different types of changes, such as cancer, necrosis or infections. Learn more about the indications and how bone scans, myocardial scans and thyroid scans are performed.

How it is made and prepared

Lung scintigraphy is performed in 2 steps:

  • 1st step - Ventilation or Inhalation: it is performed with the inhalation of saline solution containing the radiopharmaceutical DTPA-99mTc that is deposited in the lungs, to then form the images that are captured by the device. The exam is performed with the patient lying on a stretcher, avoiding moving, and lasts about 20 minutes.
  • 2nd step - Infusion: performed with an intravenous injection of another radiopharmaceutical, called MAA labeled with technetium-99m, or in some specific cases, Gallium 67, and the images of blood circulation are also performed with the patient lying down, for about 20 minutes.

It is not necessary to fast or any other specific preparation to perform the pulmonary scintigraphy, however, it is important on the day of the exam to take other exams that the patient has done during the investigation of the disease, to help the doctor to interpret interpret the result more accurately.

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