Applications of Ventilation-Perfusion Scintigraphy in Surgical Management of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease and Cancer

Semin Nucl Med. 2017 Nov;47(6):671-679. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2017.08.001. Epub 2017 Aug 23.


Ventilation-perfusion scintigraphy (VPS) depicts the two main physiological processes that are fundamental to oxygen-dependent life. The test has affirmed its critical place in the evaluation of patients with lung cancer preparing for lung resection. The results of the study can differentiate patients who are very likely to survive surgery and the subsequent pulmonary function loss from those who are not. This review presents validated and evolving testing techniques for this critical indication. VPS has long been an integral part of the preoperative evaluation of lung transplant candidates, guiding the single lung grafts to the side with the worst function. New applications are emerging in the rapidly developing surgical and interventional management of severe chronic obstructive lung diseases. Enhanced by the advancements in hybrid imaging and computer processing, the VPS examination continues to be reinvented and updated to keep pace with the needs of modern medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lung
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Perfusion Imaging
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radionuclide Imaging*
  • Ventilation-Perfusion Ratio*