Magnetic Resonance Cholangio - Pancreatography (MRCP)

Indications and Procedures

  • Indication:
    • Diseases of the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas and pancreatic duct including tumors, stones, inflammation or infection.
    • Evaluation of patients with pancreatitis to detect the underlying cause in patients with pancreatitis.
    • Unexplained abdominal pain.
    • A non-invasive alternative to Endoscopic Retrograde Colangio -Pancreatography (ERCP).
  • Procedures:
  • A contrast material (gadolinium contrast agent) is given to the patient orally, or injected through a vein . All jewellery and other accessories should be removed prior to the MRCP as metal and electronic items can interfere with the magnetic field of the MRI unit, they may cause burns or become harmful projectiles within the MRI scanner room. These items include:

    • jewellery, watches, credit cards and hearing aids, all of which can be damaged
    • Pins, hairpins, metal zippers and similar metallic items, which can distort MRI images
    • Removable dental work
    • Pens, pocket knives and eyeglasses
    • Body piercings
    • Mobile phones, electronic watches and tracking devices.

    In most cases, an MRI exam is safe for patients with metal implants, except for a few types. People with the following implants may not be scanned and should not enter the MRI scanning area without first being evaluated for safety:

    • Some cochlear (ear) implants
    • Some types of clips used for brain aneurysms
    • Some types of metal coils placed within blood vessels
    • Some older cardiac defibrillators and pacemakers

    Please inform the radiologist about any shrapnel, bullets, or other metal that may be in the body

    Patients may require sedation or general anesthesia in some cases

    The patient is made to lie down on the table which moves into the MRI unit .A contrast is injected into the intravenous line (IV) after an initial series of scans. More images are taken during or following the injection. The actual MRCP procedure takes approximately 10-15 minutes, but it is often performed with a standard MRI of the abdomen, which may last approximately 30-45 minutes

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