LIVING ART ENTERPRISES, LLC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIVING ART ENTERPRISES, LLC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured composite image from a nuclear medicine lung scan (used to look at blood flow to each lung). This image is composed of different views of the lungs. This test involves injecting a radio-isotope which travels in the bloodstream. Places where there is irregular distribution of the isotope are not normal. The isotope is delivered through the veins which end up in the lung by going through the pulmonary arteries. This test is often performed to determine if the patient has had Pulmonary Emboli (blood clots trapped in the pulmonary arteries). These blood clots often form in the legs or pelvis, become dislodged and then travel in the veins to the pulmonary arteries in the lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath and chest pain. This condition can be very serious and is often treated with blood thinners like heparin or coumadin. Sometimes a filter device is placed in the large vein in the abdomen to catch these blood clots before they have a chance to get to the lungs.
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