We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

Test: ERCP

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure used to look for, and sometimes treat, blockages or other abnormalities in the bile ducts and pancreatic duct. Contrast dye is injected into the ducts using an endoscope passed through the mouth into the duodenum. The doctor’s view down the endoscope can also be seen on a monitor. The flow of the dye is followed on X-ray images shown on a second monitor. ERCP is done in hospital under sedation and takes up to an hour.

During the procedure

The endoscope is passed painlessly down the throat into the duodenum, and dye is injected into the ducts.


Contrast X-ray

The common bile duct and gallbladder, made visible by a dye injected through the endoscope, appear normal.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

Back to top

Search the
Medical Encyclopedia

Related Topics

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.