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MRCP (Magnetic Resonance Cholangiography)

Magnetic Resonance Cholangiography

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a medical imaging technique that uses contrast magnetic resonance imaging to visualize the biliary and pancreatic ducts noninvasively. This procedure is used to determine bile duct problems and whether gallstones are lodged in any of the ducts surrounding the gallbladder. It also helps in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. With this scan, MRI technology takes images, as an IV dye travels through the pancreatic and biliary systems.

What to Bring

  • Your medical provider order (your medical provider may have already sent this to us)
  • Personal ID
  • Insurance card
  • If you have an MRI safe implant, please bring your implant card and any remote device.

How to Prepare

  • NPO (nothing by mouth) for 4 hours before the scan. You can still take morning or afternoon medications.
  • You should inform your medical provider if you have any allergies to contrast materials.
  • You should inform your medical provider if you have claustrophobia and need a form of sedation.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and avoid clothing with zippers, buttons or belts made of metal.
  • Please leave valuable jewelry at home.
  • If you suspect you might be pregnant, please inform the imaging technologist.
  • If you have had an adverse reaction during a prior MRI, you should inform the technologist.
  • If you have claustrophobia, you should inform the technologist.
  • If you are wearing an on-body medication pump or any pain patches, you should inform the technologist.
  • If you have any internal implants, such as a pain pump, pacemaker, defibrillator, loop recorder, stimulator, etc., you should inform the technologist.

What to Expect

  • This is a noninvasive exam.
  • You may be asked to remove clothing and to wear a gown during your exam.
  • You may be asked to remove jewelry, glasses and any metal objects or clothing that may interfere with the images.
  • During the exam, you will be placed on a table and positioned inside the center of a large tube-like scanner with openings at both ends. A coil will be placed over your upper abdomen and chest region. With the MRCP technique, an MRI coil helps the imaging technology gather high-quality images of the biliary and pancreatic ducts noninvasively and is essential in generating images.
  • Before the MRCP procedure beings, you will be given a squeeze ball. This will be your way of alerting the MRI technologist during your MRI. If you have any questions or feel any discomfort during the exam, you can squeeze the ball, and the imaging technologist will address any issue you may be encountering.
  • The machine makes a significant amount of noise; therefore, hearing protection will be provided. The table moves forward into the scanner and out when the study has been completed. The study is not painful.
  • During the scan, you will be given breathing instructions. The instruction will be, “Hold your breath,” and “You can breathe.”
  • This exam is approximately 15 minutes and does not require IV contrast.

Screening Forms for This Test

  • Before scan, an imaging technologist will go over a series of questions and have you sign a screening form for any metal or mechanical implants in the body to ensure you have been cleared to go into the magnet.
  • Included in this form is a contrast acknowledgement section. If your exam is ordered with contrast, the technologist will read you a statement and will ask for your signature that confirms you agree to receiving the IV contrast.

Schedule an Appointment

Call North Oaks Scheduling between 7 am and 5:30 pm.
Hammond: (985) 230-7777
Livingston: (225) 686-4899

If you are a provider and need to send an order, please fax it to (985) 230-6781.