Hepatobiliary Imaging (HIDA)

Scans of the gall bladderGall bladder scans are used to evaluate upper abdominal pain, determine causes of jaundice and identify obstruction in the gall bladder.

Test Preparation

Do not eat or drink for four hours before the test because contents in the stomach will alter the test results.

Exam Procedure

After the radioactive tracer injection (in the arm), you will lie on your back on the imaging table and multiple images of the abdominal area will be taken. For this test, the images are taken immediately after the tracer injection. Imaging takes one to two hours (or longer) because it is not possible to determine how long it will take your liver to excrete the tracer or when your gall bladder will be visible to the camera.

Depending upon what your doctor is looking for, the test may involve the injection of a drug (CCK/cholecystokinin or morphine) that will stimulate or contract your gall bladder or duct. This will provide the nuclear physician with more information about how well your gall bladder is working. This test can also be performed on patients who have had their gall bladders removed. In this case, an assessment of the duct system will take place.