Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)

We use the most precise diagnostic procedures in order to efficiently diagnose and treat your conditions. With screenings like magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, our doctors are able to determine the causes of a wide range of pancreatic, liver and gallbladder conditions with detailed certainty.

MRCP is a type of MRI diagnostic screening procedure. Like a standard MRI scan, MRCP uses a harmless magnetic field to produce clear, high-resolution images specifically of the liver, pancreas and gallbladder, as well as the bile ducts within them.

An MRCP is useful in evaluating symptoms of liver and pancreatic conditions, as well as cancer, jaundice, pancreatitis and liver disease.

Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography follows the same procedural steps as an MRI scan. However, unlike a standard MRI, MRCP usually doesn’t require a need for contrast dye.

During the procedure, you lie on a bed that goes into an MRI machine. The machine is like a large tube that encompasses your entire body. The test is painless, however, patients who are claustrophobic may find it somewhat uncomfortable.

While your body is scanned, it is normal for the machine’s magnet to make loud and repetitive tapping noises. That magnet sends information into a computer controlled by an MRI technician and located in a separate room.

The MRI technician monitors you and the MRI machine throughout the entire process and a microphone allows you to speak to your technician at all times. The computer processes the information sent by the magnet and radio waves and produces an image. The scan can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the objective.

We understand that this type of screening can be challenging for children, so with your doctor’s prescription, sedation is available for pediatric patients, which is performed under the supervision of our pediatric intensivist, pediatric anesthesiologist and nurse.

Unlike X-rays, MRCP procedures are free of radiation, safe and non-invasive. The risks involved in the procedure are caused by the large and powerful magnet that makes up the machine.

Due to the incredibly strong magnetic field generated by the MRI, it is important to make sure there is no metal in your body before entering the machine. Your doctor will ask you to please remove jewelry, watches, dentures and any other object that could interfere with the magnet.

Be sure to inform your doctor prior to your scan if you have any of the following within your body, as they could pose risks to you or alter the images produced by the scan:

  • Pacemaker
  • Artificial heart valves
  • Implanted nerve stimulators
  • Metal fragments such as shrapnel
  • Pins or screws
  • Metal joints
  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear implants