The 1-month outcome of patients with a low probability technegas ventilation/perfusion lung scan

R. Bellomo, R. Low, S. Pianko, A. Korman, K. Clarke, S. White, C. Wong

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The objective was to study the 1-month outcome of patients who had a low probability ventilation/perfusion lung scan using Technegas radioaerosol as the inhalational agent and who did not receive anticoagulation. One hundred consecutive patients with suspected pulmonary embolism were studied retrospectively. Their Technegas lung scans were classified by two blinded and independent nuclear medicine physicians and the medical records of all patients with a low probability scan were reviewed. One hundred inpatients (42 males and 58 females) with a mean age of 63 years were studied. The three most common clinical presentations leading to lung scintigraphy were unexplained dyspnoea (30 cases), unexplained dyspnoea with pleuritic chest pain (26 cases) and pleuritic chest pain only (15 cases). Nine patients had been judged by their managing medical team to have a high clinical probability of true pulmonary embolism, 32 had an intermediate probability clinical presentation and 59 a low clinical probability of pulmonary embolism. None of the 100 patients experienced further episodes of suspected or proven pulmonary embolism during the follow-up period. Six patients died. In none of them was pulmonary embolism either the cause of or a major contributing factor to death. The finding of a low probability scan using Technegas as the ventilation scintigram agent of choice describes a group of patients who, even in the absence of therapeutic anticoagulation, have a favourable 1-month outcome free of either true or suspected clinical pulmonary embolism. Invasive, pulmonary angiography-based diagnostic strategies may not be needed in this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-510
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Medicine Communications
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994

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