Perfusion lung scans vs pulmonary angiography in evaluation of suspected primary pulmonary hypertension

Chest. 1983 Dec;84(6):679-83. doi: 10.1378/chest.84.6.679.


A retrospective review of 15 patients with angiographically- or biopsy-documented primary pulmonary hypertension was performed to assess the value of pulmonary perfusion scanning in noninvasively differentiating these patients from those with potentially operable, chronic (large-vessel) thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. None of the 15 patients with primary pulmonary hypertension demonstrated a segmental or larger perfusion defect whereas such defects have been uniformly present in previous reports of patients with large-vessel thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. While perfusion scans in primary pulmonary hypertension may show certain abnormalities, the presence of segmental or larger perfusion defects should suggest the diagnosis of potentially correctable, large-vessel thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension rather than small-vessel, obliterative (primary, idiopathic) pulmonary hypertension.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thromboembolism / diagnostic imaging*