- Intravenous Cholangiogram Center
- Take the Tummy Trouble Quiz
- Boost Digestive Health
- Digestive Distress Slideshow: Problem Foods to Avoid
What is an intravenous cholangiogram (IVC)?
The intravenous cholangiogram or IVC is a radiologic (x-ray) procedure that is used primarily to look at the larger bile ducts within the liver and the bile ducts outside the liver. The procedure can be used to locate gallstones within these bile ducts. IVC also can be used to identify other causes of obstruction to the flow of bile, for example, narrowings (strictures) of the bile ducts and cancers that may impair the normal flow of bile.
How is an intravenous cholangiogram done?
To do an IVC, an iodine-containing dye is injected intravenously into the blood. The dye is then removed from blood by the liver which excretes it into the bile. The iodine is concentrated enough just as it is secreted into bile that it does not need to be further concentrated by the gallbladder in order to outline the bile ducts and any gallstones that may be within them. The gallbladder is not always seen on an IVC since the iodine-containing bile may bypass the gallbladder entirely and empty directly into the small intestine.
What are the risks of an intravenous cholangiogram?
Occasional serious allergic reactions can occur to any iodine-containing dye. These reactions can usually be treated but they rarely may result in the death of the patient.
When is an intravenous cholangiogram useful?
The IVC is not used nearly as much today as it used to be. Its use always was limited because it did not work when there was more than a minimal amount of jaundice, and many of the conditions it was used for caused substantial jaundice. The IVC has been largely replaced by other diagnostic procedures -- by ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography), endoscopic ultrasound and, increasingly, by MRI cholangiography, none of which are affected by jaundice.
Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions
Digestive Disorders Resources
"Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography"
Top Intravenous Cholangiogram Related Articles
Cangrelor (Kengreal) is a drug used to reduce the risk of heart attacks during precutaneious coronary intervention, repeat coronary revascularization, and stent thrombosis. Side effects include
- Shortness of breath
- Allergic reactions
Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
GallstonesGallstones are stones that form when substances in the bile harden. Gallstones (formed in the gallbladder) can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. There can be just one large stone, hundreds of tiny stones, or any combination. The majority of gallstones do not cause signs or symptoms; however, when they do occur the primary sign is biliary colic. Symptoms of biliary colic are constant pain for 15 minutes to 4-5 hours, and it may vary in intensity; nausea, severe pain that does not worsen with movement; and pain beneath the sternum. Treatment of gallstones depends upon the patient and the clinical situation.
Liver PictureFront View of the Liver. The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. See a picture of the Liver and learn more about the health topic.
The Digestion Process (Organs and Functions)Digestion is the complex process of turning the food you eat into the energy you need to survive. The digestive process also involves creating waste to be eliminated, and is made of a series of muscles that coordinate the movement of food. Learn more about digestion and the body parts that make it possible, including the:
- small intestine,
- liver, and