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Semin Nucl Med ; 2023 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2309476


In this article the technique, interpretation, and diagnostic performance of scintigraphy for the diagnosis of acute pulmonary embolism (PE) are reviewed. Lung scintigraphy has stood the test of time as a reliable and validated examination for the determination of PE. Ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) lung scintigraphy assesses the functional consequences of the clot on its downstream vascular bed in conjunction with the underlying ventilatory status of the affected lung region, in contrast to CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA), which visualizes presence of the clot within affected vessels. Most-commonly used ventilation radiopharmaceuticals are Technetium-99m labeled aerosols (such as 99mTechnetium-DTPA), or ultrafine particle suspensions (99mTc-Technegas) which reach the distal lung in proportion to regional distribution of ventilation. Perfusion images are obtained after intravenous administration 99mTc-labeled macro-aggregated albumin particles which lodge in the distal pulmonary capillaries. Both planar and tomographic methods of imaging, each favored in different geographical regions, will be described. Guidelines for interpretation of scintigraphy have been issues by both the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, and by the European Association of Nuclear Medicine. Breast tissue is particularly radiosensitive during pregnancy due to its highly proliferative state and many guidelines recommend use of lung scintigraphy rather than CTPA in this population. Several maneuvers are available in order to further reduce radiation exposure including reducing radiopharmaceutical dosages or omitting ventilation altogether, functionally converting the study to a low-dose screening examination; if perfusion defects are present, further testing is necessary. Several groups have also performed perfusion-only studies during the COVID epidemic in order to reduce risk of respiratory contagion. In patients where perfusion defects are present, further testing is again necessary to avoid false-positive results. Improved availability of personal protective equipment, and reduced risk of serious infection, have rendered this maneuver moot in most practices. First introduced 60 years ago, subsequent advances in radiopharmaceutical development and imaging methods have positioned lung scintigraphy to continue to play an important clinical and research role in the diagnosis of acute PE.

Clin Nucl Med ; 47(8): e540-e547, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861003


PURPOSE: In coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, clinical manifestations as well as chest CT lesions are variable. Lung scintigraphy allows to assess and compare the regional distribution of ventilation and perfusion throughout the lungs. Our main objective was to describe ventilation and perfusion injury by type of chest CT lesions of COVID-19 infection using V/Q SPECT/CT imaging. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We explored a national registry including V/Q SPECT/CT performed during a proven acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. Chest CT findings of COVID-19 disease were classified in 3 elementary lesions: ground-glass opacities, crazy-paving (CP), and consolidation. For each type of chest CT lesions, a semiquantitative evaluation of ventilation and perfusion was visually performed using a 5-point scale score (0 = normal to 4 = absent function). RESULTS: V/Q SPECT/CT was performed in 145 patients recruited in 9 nuclear medicine departments. Parenchymal lesions were visible in 126 patients (86.9%). Ground-glass opacities were visible in 33 patients (22.8%) and were responsible for minimal perfusion impairment (perfusion score [mean ± SD], 0.9 ± 0.6) and moderate ventilation impairment (ventilation score, 1.7 ± 1); CP was visible in 43 patients (29.7%) and caused moderate perfusion impairment (2.1 ± 1.1) and moderate-to-severe ventilation impairment (2.5 ± 1.1); consolidation was visible in 89 patients (61.4%) and was associated with moderate perfusion impairment (2.1 ± 1) and severe ventilation impairment (3.0 ± 0.9). CONCLUSIONS: In COVID-19 patients assessed with V/Q SPECT/CT, a large proportion demonstrated parenchymal lung lesions on CT, responsible for ventilation and perfusion injury. COVID-19-related pulmonary lesions were, in order of frequency and functional impairment, consolidations, CP, and ground-glass opacity, with typically a reverse mismatched or matched pattern.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Registries , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilation-Perfusion Scan
J Nucl Med ; 63(7): 1070-1074, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470743


In patients with novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) referred for lung scintigraphy because of suspected pulmonary embolism (PE), there has been an ongoing debate within the nuclear medicine community as to whether and when the ventilation imaging should be performed. Indeed, whereas PE diagnosis typically relies on the recognition of ventilation-perfusion (V/P) mismatched defects, the ventilation procedure potentially increases the risk of contamination to health-care workers. The primary aim of this study was to assess the role of ventilation imaging when lung scintigraphy is performed because of suspected PE in COVID-19 patients. The secondary aim was to describe practices and imaging findings in this specific population. Methods: A national registry was created in collaboration with the French Society of Nuclear Medicine to collect lung scans performed on COVID-19 patients for suspected PE. The practices of departments were assessed regarding imaging protocols and aerosol precautions. A retrospective review of V/P SPECT/CT scans was then conducted. Two physicians masked to clinical information reviewed each case by sequentially viewing perfusion SPECT, perfusion SPECT/CT, and V/P SPECT/CT images. The scans were classified into 1 of the 4 following categories: patients for whom PE could reasonably be excluded on the basis of perfusion SPECT only, perfusion SPECT/CT, or V/P SPECT/CT and patients with mismatched defects suggestive of PE according to the European Association of Nuclear Medicine criteria. Results: Data from 12 French nuclear medicine departments were collected. Lung scans were performed between March 2020 and April 2021. Personal protective equipment and dedicated cleaning procedures were used in all departments. Of the 145 V/Q SPECT/CT scans included in the central review, PE could be excluded using only perfusion SPECT, perfusion SPECT/CT, or V/P SPECT/CT in 27 (19%), 55 (38%), and 45 (31%) patients, respectively. V/P SPECT/CT was positive for PE in 18 (12%) patients, including 12 (67%) with a low burden of PE (≤10%). Conclusion: In this population of COVID-19 patients assessed with lung scintigraphy, PE could confidently be excluded without the ventilation imaging in only 57% of patients. Ventilation imaging was required to confidently rule out PE in 31% of patients. Overall, the prevalence of PE was low (12%).

COVID-19 , Pulmonary Embolism , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Pulmonary Embolism/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon/methods , Ventilation-Perfusion Ratio