A HIDA scan is a nuclear medicine test done to detect infections or other abnormalities of the gallbladder or bile ducts. It is also used to evaluate unexplained abdominal pain.
What will the scan involve?
- The nurse or nuclear technologist will insert an IV into your child’s hand or arm to inject the radioactive dye (contrast). This dye helps make the areas of infection or obstruction more visible.
- A special scanner will be placed over your belly to help the doctor to view the dye as it travels, and to take pictures of your liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts.
- Your child may also be given an injection (through the IV) of CCK (cholecystokinin). CCK is a hormone made by your body that causes the gallbladder to release digestive enzymes. If the gallbladder does not respond to the CCK, then this may indicate an inflamed gallbladder.
How long will it last?
This test will last approximately 1 ½ hours and your total visit time will be approximately 2 ½ hours.
Before the test
- Do not eat or drink anything 8 hours before the test.
- If you would like for your child to have numbing cream (Emla) to decrease the pain with the IV insertion then please arrive 30 minutes earlier.
After the test
- The radioactive dye will remain in the body temporarily until it is passed through the urine or stool. There is no danger to your child or anyone else during this time.
- Your child may resume his/her normal diet and activities after the test. Encourage extra fluids for 24 hours after the test to help eliminate the dye.
- Your child’s test results will be discussed with you at your child’s next follow up appointment at GI for Kids.