Gallbladder radionuclide scan - Risks
Radionuclide - gallbladder; Gallbladder scan; Biliary scan; Cholescintigraphy
What the risks are:
There is a small risk to pregnant or nursing mothers, because the fetus or small child has a greater sensitivity to radioactive chemicals. Unless it is absolutely necessary, the scan will be delayed.
The amount of radiation is small (less than that of a conventional x-ray) and is virtually gone from the body within 1 or 2 days. With an increased number of scans, there is some radiation risk.
Because this test is usually not performed unless there is acute pain, suspected gallbladder disease, or gallstones, many patients require urgent attention after the results of the test are known. Sometimes this test is combined with other imaging (such as CT or ultrasound). After the gallbladder scan the patient may be prepared for surgery, if it is necessary.
- Reviewed last on: 1/31/2011
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Afdahl NH. Diseases of the gall bladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 159.
Wang DQH, Afdahl NH. Gallstone disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 65.
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