Hepatobiliary Scan


What is a Hepatobiliary Scan and what does it do?

There are 2 types of Hepatobiliary Scans:

Regular Hepatobiliary Scan:

  • Evaluation of abdominal (especially right upper quadrant) pain.
  • Differentiate between acute or chronic cholecystitis.
  • Suspected bile leaks or biliary obstruction.

Stimulated Hepatobiliary Scan:

  • A regular hepatobiliary Scan is performed first, then a medicine called CCK (cholecystokinin) is administered in order to determine the gallbladder function (e.g., stasis allowing “sludge” to accumulate) which is referenced by a numeric value (ejection fraction).
  • CCK WILL NOT BE ADMINISTERED IF YOU HAVE RECENTLY BEEN DIAGNOSED POSITIVE FOR GALLSTONES, ARE PREGNANT, OR HAVE HAD GALLBLADDER REMOVED.

Who performs the test?

This procedure will be performed by a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. The Nuclear Technologist is certified by the NMTCB (Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board), and/or the ARRT (The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists). All of the Nuclear Medicine Technologists at Jackson Hospital are licensed in the state of Florida.

Where does it take place?

This procedure will be performed in the Nuclear Medicine Department at Jackson Hospital. This is located in Radiology at the main hospital.

How long does it take?

The total time of the exam varies between 1-3 hours depending on how the gallbladder is functioning.

What you can do to make it a success?

  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Remove any metallic objects before your scan.
  • Do not have anything to eat or drink 6 hours before your exam.
  • Do not take any pain medications 6 hours before your exam.
  • Bring a copy of your ultrasound report to your appointment (if performed at another facility).

What to do before your exam?

  • Make sure you have not had anything to eat or drink 6 hours before the exam.
  • Do not take any of your pain medications 6 hours before your exam.

What happens during your exam?

Hepatobiliary Scan:

  • You will be asked to empty your pockets and remove any metallic objects from your person.
  • There will be an intravenous injection before the scan is started.
  • You will then lie on the imaging table, and there will be a detector that scans your liver and gallbladder.

Stimulated Hepatobiliary Scan:

  • You will be asked to empty your pockets and remove any metallic objects from your person.
  • There will be an intravenous line started before the scan. The tracer agent will then be injected though this line.
  • You will then lie on the imaging table, and there will be a detector that scans your liver and gallbladder.
  • After the appropriate amount of time, usually 1-2 hours, another medicine will be infused into your IV line over 30 minutes. This will cause your gallbladder to “stimulate” and the function can be measured.

What to do after your exam?

  • Your IV line will be removed.
  • Your images will be processed after your scan. They will then be submitted to the Radiologist for review and interpretation. The results will be forwarded to the ordering physician when the Radiologist’s transcription is complete.

Contact Information:

Hospital (main operator): (850) 526-2200
Nuclear Medicine Department (at hospital): (850) 718-2584
Radiology Department (at hospital): (850) 718-2580