HIDA scan, also termed as hepatobiliary scan or cholescintigraphy is an imaging technique which is done to diagnose the problems bile ducts, gall bladder and liver. The process involves injecting a radioactive tracer into the vein. The tracer reaches your bloodstream to liver and is then taken up by the bile cells. From bile it goes to the gall bladder. Then it reaches small intestine via bile ducts. The tracer is tracked using the gamma camera which gives the images of the specific organs on the computer screen.

Facts you need to know

  • It is done to diagnose the problems with liver, small intestine, bile duct and gall bladder with the help of images that are received at the end of process.
  • Females who are breast feeding or are pregnant need to consult the doctor before going for the scan.
  • You might be asked to not eat anything for at least 4-12 hours prior to the scan.

Purpose of the scan

  • To make sure that the liver is secreting the bile as required.
  • Check out the bile secretion rate of the gall bladder.
  • To diagnose the cause of pain at the right side of abdomen.
  • To look for the reason behind severe yellowness or check if it is jaundice.

The procedure

You will be asked to lie down and remain still during the process. An IV will be inserted into your arm and a nuclear drug which acts as a tracer will be injected. You might experience a cold sensation when this happens. A tracer camera will be rolled on to the stomach for capturing the images. As the tracer moves into the blood stream and then to the liver, gall bladder and bile duct and finally to the small intestine, the technician will have a control on the camera while the radiologist views the images. The images are then evaluated for diagnosis of the issue.