Women at risk for a pulmonary embolism should opt for V/Q scan

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Young women in danger of having a pulmonary embolism should first undergo a ventilation/perfusion lung scan (V/Q scan) rather than a CT angiogram, concluded the authors of a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

“A very low probability V/Q lung scan, together with a low probability objective clinical assessment, is as reliable as a CT angiogram and allows a doctor to evaluate whether a pulmonary embolism is present or not,” said Alexander Gottschalk, a professor of diagnostic radiology at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

In their study, Gottschalk and H. Dirk Sostman, a professor of radiology and executive vice dean at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, analyzed the prospectively gathered data from Pioped II, a large-scale, multi-center trial.