Traditionally, investigation for choledocholithiasis involved ECRP but this is an invasive procedure with risks of perforation, pancreatitis and, in a small minority, death. Therefore magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) becoming a diagnostic modality of choice. "
- Medical imaging technique that uses MRI to visualize the biliary and pancreatic ducts in a non-invasive manner.
- Useful to determine if gallstones are lodged in any of the ducts surrounding the gallbladder.
- Evaluate the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas and pancreatic duct for disease. It is noninvasive and does not use ionizing radiation.
- May involve IV contrasts agents e.g. A gadolinium contrast agent
- Scan will take approximately 40 minutes.
- Acute gallstone pancreatitis looking for choledocholithiasis
- Suspected gallstones especially common bile duct stones
- Sclerosing cholangitis
- Cancer of the Biliary tree
- Look for other causes of pancreatitis
- Avoided generally in the first trimester unless the benefit of the exam clearly outweighs any potential risks.
- Pregnant women should not receive gadolinium contrast unless absolutely necessary
- Pacemakers or ICD or other metallic fragments, cochlear implants, some vascular clips