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GALLBLADDER disease, delayed appearance in HIDA scan.

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Hello, I have had many symptoms of a gall bladder disease. My Dr. recently did a HIDA scan which they say was normal. My problem is, my gall bladder took a long time to show, tech almost said they would have to give up, then it slowly appeared. My function level was 84%. I was told normal is between 35-60. I have read that is not normal, it being delayed may be a sigh of a problem. My liver enzymes have also been elevated which makes me wonder again about my gall bladder. Ever since I had my daughter 6 years ago I have always had pain on my side where I think my gall bladder is located.

Does that seem normal that it took so long to show up?


Category: Gastroenterologist, Medical

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Category: Hepatologist
 24 Doctors Online

Hi Kristy,
Thanks for posting your query at
I am Dr.R.K and I am pleased to assist you.
In a HIDA scan the gallbladder is visualized with 15 minutes.
What actually happens in this scan is - HIDA is injected intravenously. This enters the liver and secreted in the bile. The bile with HIDA enters the gallbladder through the cystic duct and HIDA being radioactive makes the gallbladder visible.
So if there is a delay in the visualization of gallbladder, something is wrong in the process mentioned above.
The reasons could be -
1. A stone obstructing the cystic duct
2. Liver dysfunction.
Since you have elevated liver enzymes further workup should be done to find the cause.
I would also suggest a MRCP scan to see if there is any obstruction to the bile duct or the cystic duct and to assess the status of the gallbladder.
I hope that answers your question.
Let me know if I can assist you further.

Patient replied :

I read that normal ejection fraction rate is between 35%-75%. Do you know that to be correct in the medical world?

Ejection fraction and visualization time of gallbladder in HIDA scan are two different things.
After the HIDA enters the gallbladder, a hormone is injected which will make the gallbladder to contract. What percentage of the bile with HIDA is released from the gallbladder is called the ejection fraction.
Anything above 35% can be considered normal.

Patient replied :

So the visual delay is enough to say something is not right?


Yes, delayed visualization or non visualization of the gallbladder during HIDA scsn itself is enough to say that something is wrong.
I hope that answers your question.
Let me know if I can assist you further.


Dr. Ratnakar Kini
Category: Hepatologist
Fellowship - DM - TN Dr.MGR Medical UniversityResidency - TN Dr.MGR Medical University Medical School - Stanely Medical College, TN Dr.MGR Medical University
Dr. Ratnakar Kini and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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