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Hepatobiliary Duct System

(Liver, Gallbladder & Bile Ducts)

Hepatobiliary Duct System Scans are imaging procedures that helps your doctor track the production and flow of bile from your liver to your small intestine. Bile is a fluid produced by your liver that helps your digestive system break down fats in the foods you eat.

Your doctor may recommend a Hepatobiliary Duct System Scan to diagnose:

  • Bile duct obstruction
  • Bile leakage
  • Congenital abnormalities in the bile ducts, gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis) and gallstones

In a Hepatobiliary Scan you'll be asked to change into a gown before your scan begins and then positioned on the imaging table. A medication is then injected into a vein in your arm. The medication contains a radioactive tracer that travels through your bloodstream to your liver, where it's taken up by the bile-producing cells. The radioactive tracer travels with the bile from your liver, into your gallbladder and through your bile ducts to your small intestine. You may feel some pressure while the radioactive tracer is injected into your vein.

As you lie on the table, a special gamma camera passes back and forth over your abdomen taking pictures of the tracer as it moves through your body. The gamma camera takes pictures continuously for about an hour. The scan's progress is observed on a monitor as the radioactive tracer moves through your body. The scan stops when the technologist sees the radioactive tracer entering your small intestine. This typically takes an hour. If the radioactive tracer is not visualized in your small intestine, you may receive a medication and undergo more scans later in the day.

For Physicians

External cameras capture internal images emitted by radiopharmaceuticals to detect and track disease.

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