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A pulmonary blood flow scan (or lung scan) is a nuclear medicine test that provides images of the blood flow in the lungs.
How Boston Children's Hospital approaches pulmonary blood flow scans
The Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging program at Children's is committed to providing a safe, comfortable and child-friendly atmosphere with:
A pulmonary blood flow scan (or lung scan) is a diagnostic nuclear medicine test that provides images of the blood flow in the lungs. It can show areas of the lungs that are not receiving enough blood.
A radiopharmaceutical called Technetium-99m MAA is injected into your child's veins. Technetium-99m MAA has a tiny amount of radioactive molecules in it.
A special camera, called a gamma camera, is used to take pictures of the lungs once the radiopharmaceutical has been injected.
A lung scan can help assess pulmonary blood flow in several conditions including:
There is no special preparation necessary.
When you arrive, please go to the Nuclear Medicine check-in desk on the second floor of the main hospital. A clinical intake coordinator will check in your child and verify his registration information.
A pulmonary blood flow scan picture:
Your child may experience some discomfort associated with the insertion of the intravenous needle. The needle used for the procedure is small. Once the radiopharmaceutical is injected, the needle is withdrawn and a bandaid is placed over the site of the injection. The area where the injection was given may be a little sore.
Although the gamma camera may appear large and intimidating, it does not touch your child.
We are committed to ensuring that your child receives the smallest radiation dose needed to obtain the desired result.
Once the scan is complete, the images will be evaluated for quality. If the scan is adequate, your child will be free to leave and resume normal activity.
One of the Boston Children's nuclear medicine physicians will review your child's images and create a report of the findings and diagnosis.
The nuclear medicine physician will provide a report to the doctor who ordered your child's pulmonary blood flow scan. Your child's doctor will then discuss the results with you.
Department of Radiology
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”