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.

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