Annals of Nuclear Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 10, pp 709–714 | Cite as

Does lung perfusion scintigraphy continue to have a role in the clinical management of patients suspected of pulmonary embolism in the CT pulmonary angiography era?

  • Sophia I. KoukourakiEmail author
  • Adam A. Hatzidakis
  • Ioanna Mitrouska
  • Maria I. Stathaki
  • Kostas Perisinakis
Original Article



Acute pulmonary embolism (PE) is a life-threatening disorder with high mortality. A prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential for reducing the mortality rate. The purpose of the study is to evaluate if lung perfusion scintigraphy (LPS) continues to have a role in the clinical management of patients suspected of pulmonary embolism in the CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) era.


For this study, 1183 patients who had been subjected to LPS were retrospectively evaluated and classified into the following groups: A (positive LPS), B (negative LPS) and C (indeterminate LPS). Patients were further classified into A1 (‘PE likely’ and LPS-negative), B1 (PE unlikely and LPS-positive) and C1 (PE likely and indeterminate LPS) by combining the LPS findings and the clinical pretest probability (cpp). Subgroups A1, B1 and C1 underwent additional CTPA.


Groups A, B, and C included 1086/1183, 69/1183 and 28/1183 patients, respectively. The proportion of patients with inconsistent cpp LPS findings who underwent additional CTPA was 106/1183 patients: subgroup A1 (n = 73), B1 (n = 21), and C1 (n = 12). In subgroup A1, CTPA was negative in 61/73, non-diagnostic in 12/73 and positive in 0/73 patients. In subgroup B1, CTPA excluded PE in 2/21, non-diagnostic in 3/21 and positive in 16/21 patients. In group C1, CTPA was negative in 8/12, positive in 2/12 and non-diagnostic in 2/12 patients.


In the CTPA era, LPS continues to have a role in the clinical management of patients suspected of PE.


Lung perfusion scintigraphy CT pulmonary angiography Pulmonary embolism 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Nuclear Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophia I. Koukouraki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adam A. Hatzidakis
    • 2
  • Ioanna Mitrouska
    • 3
  • Maria I. Stathaki
    • 1
  • Kostas Perisinakis
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CreteCreteGreece
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CreteCreteGreece
  3. 3.Department of Thoracic Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CreteCreteGreece
  4. 4.Department of Medical Physics, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CreteCreteGreece

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