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.