Sunday, September 15, 2019

Cocaine, VQ scan and PE

Q: What makes cocaine-induced pulmonary injury appears like pulmonary embolism (PE) on ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) lung scan?

Answer:  Cocaine causes a high degree of pulmonary arterial vasospasm. This results in V/Q scan to appear like PE. This can be highly deceiving and can lead to inappropriate anti-coagulation of patient.



Ramachandaran S, Khan AU, Dadaparvar S, Sherman MS. Inhalation of crack cocaine can mimic pulmonary embolism. Clin Nucl Med 2004; 29:756.

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