What Is an MRCP Test Used For?

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, or MRCP, tests are used to detect liver, gallbladder, pancreas, pancreatic duct and bile duct diseases, find out the causes of pancreatitiis, discover the reasons for abdominal pain and as an alternative to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. MRCP is a kind of magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, used to create images of the pancreatic and hepatobiliary systems, according to radiologyinfo.org

MRIs help physicians diagnose and treat various medical conditions in a noninvasive manner. MRIs use a computer to interpret images produced by a strong magnetic field and radio frequency pulses. In this way, high-resolution pictures of internal body structures are produced, including organs, bones and soft tissues.

Other reasons an MCRP scan is conducted is to look for pancreatitis, blockages caused by bile duct stones or growths such as tumors. Rarely, complications occur from the test that are related to the contrast dye. Some patients may exhibit symptoms of an allergic reaction or kidney problems that should be discussed with the doctor prior to the test. Patients with medical devices or metal inside the body should discuss alternative options with their doctor as well. Before the test, the contrast dye is administered Intravenously in the hand or arm. Patients are provided a mild sedative to relax during the test. During the test, the patient must lie perfectly still while images of the organs and ducts within the abdomen are taken. The test can last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.