Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography is an imaging technique that utilizes MRI to detect diseases in the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and pancreatic duct.
What is MRCP1?
MRCP is an MRI technique that is used to detect abnormalities in the hepatobiliary (includes liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts) and pancreatic systems.
MRCP is a non-invasive procedure. MRI uses a combination of powerful magnetic field and radio frequency pulses to produce detailed pictures of organs and soft tissues. MRCP doesn’t use x-rays. MRCP aids diagnosis and helps detect tumours, inflammation, and other abnormalities.
It is an uncomplicated procedure and is discussed in the following section.
How is MRCP performed?
Following are the steps of an MRCP procedure1:
- The patient will lay on the MRI table.
- Devices that send and receive radio waves may be placed around the body part being scanned.
- MRCP is usually done with a standard abdomen MRI, in such a case an IV is attached during the examination for the contrast.
- You will be moved through the MRI machine.
- You may be asked to wait after the first round of imaging in case additional images are needed. After this, your IV line will be removed (if there was any).
The entire MRCP procedure would take a maximum of 45 minutes.
Side effects of MRCP
Following are some of the rare side-effects of MRCP:
- There is a chance of allergic reaction to the contrast material if it is used.
- Complications can arise due to the contrast if the patient has a weak kidney.
Preparation before performing the MRCP
Following are the steps to be followed before you go for an MRCP procedure:
- Talk to your doctor or technician about any health complications or allergies to contrast materials, especially gadolinium medications before MRCP.
- Follow the eating guidelines given to you before your MRCP.
- Remove all metal accessories and piercings from your body before the MRCP.
- Inform your doctor or radiologist about any implants you might have.
- Inform your doctor about kidney problems which may prevent you from taking contrast materials.
- Relaxants must be administered to Claustrophobic patients with doctor’s guidance before MRCP.
Post-care after MRCP
One may experience headache, nausea, and pain at the site of the injection of the contrast after the MRCP. Contact your doctor in case of any allergic symptoms after the MRCP procedure.
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