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What is a CCK-HIDA scan?

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A CCK-HIDA scan is a test that examines the gallbladder to determine its condition and function, according to Cooper University Health Care. The exam also includes checking out the ducts that enter and exit the gallbladder. A CCK-HIDA helps physicians diagnose gallbladder disease and rate the organ's ability to function.

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To begin the test, technicians inject hydroxy iminodiacetic acid intravenously into the patient, explains Cooper University Health Care. HIDA, a radioactive chemical, gets processed by the liver into bile. The bile flows through the bile duct, gallbladder and intestines, then is excreted.

Physicians then place a camera that picks up radioactivity over the patient's stomach, states Cooper University Health Care. Over the course of two hours or so, technicians take images of the gallbladder, bile ducts and liver.

At some point during the test, the patient receives a dose of the chemical cholecystokinin, says Cooper University Health Care. The CCK causes the gallbladder to contract, and this can cause some patients discomfort. Some patients report nausea, cramps or stomach pain, but these symptoms usually go away quickly.

A CCK-HIDA scan often detects cholecystitis, a type of inflammation affecting the gallbladder wall and adjacent abdominal lining, notes Cooper University Health Care, Gallstones frequently cause cholecystitis.

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