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What To Expect After a Lung Ventilation/Perfusion Scan

Most people can return to their normal activities right after a lung ventilation/perfusion (VQ) scan.

If you got medicine to help you relax during the scan, your doctor will tell you when you can return to your normal activities. The medicine may make you tired, so you'll need someone to drive you home.

You may have a bruise on your arm where the radioisotopes were injected. You'll need to drink plenty of fluids to flush the radioisotopes out of your body. Your doctor can advise you about how much fluid to drink.

If you're breastfeeding, ask your doctor how long you should wait after the test before you breastfeed. The radioisotopes used for VQ scans can pass through your breast milk to your baby.

You may want to prepare for the scan by pumping and saving milk for 24 to 48 in advance. You can bottle-feed your baby in the hours after the VQ scan.

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Lung Ventilation/Perfusion Scan Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Lung Ventilation/Perfusion Scan, visit

July 25, 2014 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.