Hepatobiliary Imaging

Hepatobiliary imaging evaluates the function of the liver, gall bladder and the ducts that connect them.

When you arrive for your appointment, you will receive an injection of a radioactive tracer into a vein in your arm. Pictures of your liver, gall bladder and ducts are then taken as you lay on your back. This will take about one hour.

Once those pictures are taken, the nuclear medicine physician may decide to give you another medicine, called CCK, which causes your gall bladder to empty. CCK may cause some slight abdominal discomfort or nausea, but it will pass in a few minutes. Watching your gall bladder empty will let your doctor know how well it is functioning. This portion of the exam will take an additional 30 minutes.

If it is necessary, you may be asked to return two to four hours later for additional imaging. Or, you may be given a small amount of morphine to help the tracer move into your gall bladder. You should plan on the test taking at least three to four hours.

Preparation

  • Bring a list of all the medications you are currently taking.
  • You may take your prescribed medication, as normal.
  • Do not eat or drink for at least four hours before your appointment time.
  • You should not have tests that use Barium for at least 48 hours before your hepatobiliary imaging.
  • If you have any ultrasound, or x-ray films or reports from tests performed somewhere other than Beaumont Hospitals, please bring them with you to your appointment.
  • Remember to bring the written order (prescription), for this test, given to you by your doctor.

Precautions

  • Patients of childbearing age should review the pregnancy and breastfeeding guidelines.