What is an MRCP test?

Jan 26, 2016

An MRCP test is a specialized MRI exam that evaluates the hepatiobiliary and pancreatic systems, including the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas and pancreatic duct. MRCP stands for Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography:
Cholangio = bile vessel
Pancreato = pancreas
Graphy = image

An MRCP scan looks for abnormalities like

  • Obstructions or blockages caused from gallstones
  • Stones in the bile duct
  • Swelling/inflammation
  • Tumor/mass
  • Infections such as cholangitis (infection of the bile duct)

An MRCP test can also be ordered to find the cause of pancreatitis or diagnose unexplained abdominal pain. Additionally, MRCP is a less invasive alternative to ERCP, a procedure that uses an endoscope combined with an IV injection of x-ray contrast dye and fluoroscopy (x-ray images).

MRCP test, biliary system


About the MRCP scan
An MRCP scan takes about twice as long as a regular MRI scan; 10 minutes for the MRCP imaging and about 30 minutes for abdominal imaging. Depending on the reason why the MRCP test was ordered, IV contrast may be given during the scan. 

Some people may experience claustrophobia during an MRI. At Suburban Imaging, our technologists are trained in techniques to alleviate anxiety and claustrophobia; oral sedation is also available at our locations. Watch this short video for more information.

Additional preparation for an MRCP test includes:

  • Nothing eat or drink four hours prior to the exam appointment.
  • Since MRCP is a specialized MRI scan, certain metal safety precautions must be taken; please review our MRI metal safety checklist


After the MRCP test
After your MRCP test, your images will be interpreted (reviewed) by one of our board-certified radiologists who specializes in. The findings will be sent to your healthcare provider who ordered the MRCP scan. Your healthcare provider will then contact you to discuss the results and any follow-up care or treatment plans.

Category: Body Imaging

Latest Blog Post

May is National Osteoporosis Month. Both women and men can have oste…

Read More

For women aged 40 and older, an annual screening mammogram is the mo…

Read More

Twitter Feed

  • One in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Early detection saves lives. Having an annu… https://t.co/aKUTRAhMnM
    June 29, 2020
  • March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month! Regular screenings are one of the most powerful weapons against colorec… https://t.co/JqsC83iYA6
    March 2, 2020
ACRLogo.png ACLogo.png ACLogo.png
ImageWiselyLogo.png ImageGentlyLogo.png

Privacy bottom_hairline.png Legal

new_facebook.png new_twitter.png new_linkIn.png transparent_youtube.png