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A magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is an imaging procedure creating elaborate pictures of the bile ducts, gallbladder, liver, pancreas and pancreatic duct.
An MRCP can help detect gallstones, infection, inflammation or tumors. It is also used to help find the source of abdominal pain.
Since a magnet is used, people with specific types of medical device implants cannot be scanned. You will be asked if you have any kind of medical devices inside your body. These include:
Sometimes, you may receive X-rays before an MRCP to detect the presence of any metal devices in your body.
You will lie down on a cot-like table that slides into a scanner. The procedure takes 15 to 40 minutes. You may be given an injection of contrast material (dye) through your veins. The contrast material is used to help see the area of the body scanned. Your body is scanned and the scan is read by a health care provider in an adjoining room observing the scan through a window. You will be able to communicate at all times with the health care provider using an intercom.
Typically, you can leave immediately after the MRCP and can resume normal activities. MRCP results are viewed by a radiologist who will send an analysis to your doctor.
Generally, there are no side effects. Some people have reactions if contrast materials are used.