ERCP Test

Also known as: endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography.

What is an ERCP test?

If a patient has problems related to the biliary or pancreatic ducts, an ERCP might aid in both diagnosis and treatment. It involves using an endoscope and X-rays to operate directly on these ducts.

What happens during the procedure?

  1. An endoscope is passed through the mouth, into the esophagus, stomach, and down into the duodenum, which is the upper portion of the small intestines.
  2. A catheter is passed through the endoscope to inject contrast dye into the small intestines.
  3. Then X-ray is used to look for problems with the bile and pancreatic ducts.
  4. If problems are discovered, the endoscope can be used to fix the problems identified using special tools.

Is any special preparation needed?

You may need to avoid food, drink or medication for a set period of time before the procedure.

What are the risk factors?

Bleeding, infection or perforation of surrounding tissue are potential complications of an ERCP test.


Reviewed by: Carrie Firestone Baum, MD

This page was last updated on: April 06, 2021 10:13 AM

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