MRCP Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography Reference Guide for Patients

MRCP Exam Information: 

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography is a powerful method of evaluating the gallbladder, intra and extra-hepatic bile ducts, as well as the pancreatic duct. Because of the extremely high soft tissue contrast of MRI, the fluid filled ducts of the biliary and pancreatic systems are highlighted on MRCP images. No contrast is needed for this study.

MRCP indications:


Patients with cardiac pacemakers, ICD, or neuro-stimulators CAN NOT have an MRI. Patients with pins, plates, screws and joint replacements, stents & filters can have an MRI as long as it has been 6 weeks since placement of the device. Women who are pregnant should avoid having an elective MRI. Women who are pregnant and need an MRI should be individually evaluated for risk vs. benefits and should avoid an MRI in the 1st trimester of pregnancy.

Patient Preparation

If claustrophobia or anxiety is a problem, your referring physician may wish to prescribe a mild sedative to be given prior to the study. No other pre-visit preparation is necessary. You will need to remove all jewelry, hairclips, pony-tails and bobby pins. In addition, you will need to remove all clothing containing metal. This would include bras with metal enclosures and jeans with metal zippers and buttons. Avoid wearing clothes with metal and you should not need to change.  If yuo need to change, you will be provided a gown and a secure locker for your valuables.

Patient Weight Limit

Our MRI equipment has a weight limit of 440 pounds.

CPT Codes

Did your doctor order this exam?

General Information:

MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays). Detailed MR images allow physicians to better evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods.

What Happens During the Test?

You will be asked to lie down on his back on the scanning table. The table will then slide into the scanning area. During the test, the MRI will make a rapid tapping noise. Your experience and comfort are of key importance. You can watch TV during your scan, or offered earplugs or a music headset; in addition blankets are also available. You should relax and remain still during the exam. Plan 60-90 minutes of total clinic time. The scan time can vary from 30-60 minutes depending on the study. You may resume normal activities following the MRI.

The Results

A radiologist will analyze the images and send a signed report to the referring physician within 1 business day.


If you have any questions or concerns about your procedure, feel free to call us at 203-453-5123 or ­contact us online.

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