What is the role of hepatobiliary scintigraphy (HBS) in the diagnosis of cholecystitis?

Updated: May 20, 2021
  • Author: Alan A Bloom, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

In a typical study, the gallbladder, common bile duct, and small bowel fill within 30-45 minutes. If the gallbladder is not visualized, intravenous morphine administration can improve the accuracy of HBS by increasing the resistance to flow through the sphincter of Oddi, resulting in filling of the gallbladder if the cystic duct is patent. The addition of morphine also reduces the number of false-positive scan results observed in patients who are critically ill and immobilized with viscous bile.

See Acute Cholecystitis Imaging and Acalculous Cholecystitis Imaging for more complete information on these topics.


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