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Magnetic Resonance Cholangiogram

Topic Overview

A magnetic resonance cholangiogram (MRC) is a test that can help doctors look for problems in the abdomen. The image is done from outside the body, without inserting an instrument.

Doctors can use MRC to locate gallstones before surgery to remove the gallbladder (laparoscopic cholecystectomy). But the test is most useful for diagnosing complications of gallstones, such as obstruction of the bile duct, perforation of the gallbladder, or abscesses.

The disadvantage of MRC is that, unlike ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram), doctors cannot use it to remove gallstones.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
Last Revised July 10, 2013

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