Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Gallbladder Scan

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Pregnancy. A gallbladder scan is not usually done during pregnancy because the radiation could damage the developing baby (fetus).
  • Barium and bismuth. If a gallbladder scan is needed, it should be done before any tests that use barium (such as a barium enema).
  • The inability to remain still during the test.
  • Being allergic to morphine.

What To Think About

  • A gallbladder ultrasound test may also be done to find problems of the gallbladder. The ultrasound test provides more information about the shape and size of the gallbladder than a nuclear scan does. But the nuclear scan can provide information about how well the gallbladder is functioning and whether the bile ducts are blocked. To learn more, see the topic Abdominal Ultrasound.
  • The results of a gallbladder scan should be interpreted along with your symptoms and the results of other tests, such as a physical examination and an ultrasound. Abnormal results from a gallbladder scan do not necessarily mean that the gallbladder needs to be removed.
  • A test called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) can be done to find blockage of the bile duct. To learn more, see the topic Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP).
  • A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method called MR cholangiopancreatogram (MRCP) may also be done to find blockage of the bile duct.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerHoward Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

man holding his stomach
Get the facts on common problems.
blueberries in a palm
Best and worst foods.
woman shopping
Learn what foods to avoid.
fresh and dried plums
Will it help constipation?
top foods for probiotics
couple eating at cafe
sick child
Woman blowing bubble gum

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with crohns in pain
Woman with stomach pain
diet for diverticulitis
what causes diarrhea