Table of Contents
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1623868, 6 pages
Research Article

Referral Patterns and Diagnostic Yield of Lung Scintigraphy in the Diagnosis of Acute Pulmonary Embolism

1The Ottawa Hospital, Division of Nuclear Medicine, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8L6
2Department of Medicine, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8L6

Correspondence should be addressed to Gregoire Le Gal

Received 26 January 2017; Accepted 4 April 2017; Published 11 April 2017

Academic Editor: Domenico Prisco

Copyright © 2017 Matthieu Pelletier-Galarneau et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. The purpose of this study is to assess referral patterns and the yield of ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scintigraphy in patients referred for acute pulmonary embolism (PE). Methods. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all patients who underwent V/Q studies between April 1, 2008, and March 31, 2010. Patients were subdivided into 4 groups based on their referral source: emergency department (ED), hospital inpatient ward, outpatient thrombosis clinic, and all other outpatient sources. Results. A total of 1008 patients underwent V/Q scintigraphy to exclude acute PE. The number of ED, inpatient, thrombosis clinic, and outpatient studies was 43 (4.3%), 288 (28.6%), 351 (34.8%), and 326 (32.3%). Proportion of patients with contrast contraindication varied significantly among the different groups. Of the 1,008 studies, 331 (32.8%) were interpreted as normal, 408 (40.5%) as low, 158 (15.7%) as intermediate, and 111 (11.0%) as high probability for PE. 68 (6.7%) patients underwent CTPA within 2 weeks following V/Q. Conclusion. The rate of nondiagnostic studies is lower than that reported in previously published data, with a relatively low rate of intermediate probability studies. Only a small fraction of patients undergoing a V/Q scan will require a CTPA.