Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP)
retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) test checks the tubes (ducts) that drain the
gallbladder , and
pancreas . A
flexible, lighted scope (endoscope) and X-ray pictures are used.
The scope is put
through the mouth and gently moved down the throat. It goes into your
esophagus , stomach, and
duodenum until it reaches the point where the ducts
from the pancreas and gallbladder drain into
the duodenum. X-rays will then be taken.
ERCP can treat certain problems found during the
test. In some cases, your doctor can insert small tools through the scope to:
- Take a sample of tissue (biopsy) from an abnormal growth. Then it can be checked for problems.
- Remove a gallstone in the
common bile duct.
- Open a narrowed bile duct. A narrowed bile duct can
be opened by inserting a small wire-mesh or plastic tube (called a stent)
in the duct.
Why It Is Done
ERCP is done to:
- Check lasting belly pain or
gallstones or diseases of the liver, bile ducts, or
- Remove gallstones from the common bile duct if they are
causing problems. These may include a blockage (obstruction), inflammation or infection of
the common bile duct (cholangitis), or
- Open a narrowed bile duct or
insert a drain.
- Get a tissue sample for further testing
- Measure the pressure inside the bile ducts (manometry).