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Gallbladder radionuclide scan - Symptoms,Causes

by Adam 2010-12-31 15:37:16

Gallbladder radionuclide scan - Symptoms,Causes

Gallbladder radionuclide scan is a test that uses radioactive material to check gallbladder function or to look for signs of an infection or bile duct obstruction.


How the Test is Performed

The health care provider will inject a radioactive chemical called a gamma emitting tracer into a vein. This material will collect primarily in the liver and then flow with bile into the gallbladder.
You lie face up on a table under a scanner called a gamma camera. The scanner detects the rays being emitted from the tracer. A computer displays images of where the tracer is found in the organs.
Images will be taken every 5 - 10 minutes for the first half hour and every 15 minutes during the next 90 minutes, if needed. The entire test takes about 1 - 2 hours.
If, after a certain amount of time, the gallbladder can't be seen, the doctor may give you a small injection of morphine, which can help to move the radionuclide into the gallbladder. The morphine may cause you to feel tired after the exam.

How to Prepare for the Test

You will be told not to eat or drink anything for 4 hours or longer before the test. You must sign an informed consent form.

How the Test Will Feel

When the tracer is injected into the vein, there will be a sharp prick from the needle. After the injection, the puncture site may be sore. There is normally no pain during the scan.

Why the Test is Performed

This test is very good for detecting acute infection of the gallbladder or blockage of a bile duct. It is also helpful in determining whether there is rejection of a transplanted liver.

Update Date: Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

Gallbladder radionuclide scan - Symptoms,Causes

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