This scan allows the physician to look at the function of the liver and is useful in diagnosing disorders such as cirrhosis, hepatitis and tumours.
An injection containing a small amount of radioactive tracer will be given and you will wait for about 15 minutes for the tracer to be absorbed by the liver. You will then lie on your back on the imaging couch and a Gamma Camera will take pictures of your liver /spleen.
- You should not have any gastrointestinal tests with barium at least 48 hours before the scan.
- No restriction of diet is required.
A hepatobiliary scan is useful in evaluating upper abdominal pain, determine causes of jaundice (especially prolonged jaundice in children) and identify obstruction in the gallbladder and the biliary system.
You will lie on your back on the imaging couch and a Gamma camera will be placed over your abdominal area. An injection containing a small amount of radioactive tracer will be given and multiple images will be taken over a period of time. Imaging may take one to two hours (or longer) because it is not possible to determine how long it will take your liver to excrete the tracer or when your gallbladder will be visible to the camera. Different medical conditions will have different excretion rates. You might have to be monitored up to 3 hours or longer.
Hepatobiliary Scan in Children/Infants
The procedure is the same as for adults, except that children and infants may require sedation if they are not cooperative. The imaging time for children is usually shorter than for adults. For infants, it may be as long, if not longer than for adults. This is especially so in cases of suspected biliary atresia, where a booster dose might be given at the end of the day and the patient has to return for a 24-hour scan the next morning.
- You should not eat or drink for three to four hours before the scan because contents in the stomach can affect the test results.