Hepatic Iminodiacetic Acid (HIDA) Scan is a diagnostic test designed exclusively to study the liver, gall bladder, pancreas, biliary tract and small intestine for any abnormal changes. It is a part of nuclear medicine study which means a substance with radioactive property is used to perform the procedure. The scan is used for studying only the above mentioned parts of the digestive system and not the entire digestive tract. It is also known as cholescintigraphy or hepatobiliary scintigraphy.
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HIDA scan is an outpatient procedure, so the patient does not require to remain admitted in hospital before or after the procedure. Prior to the procedure, patient might be asked to change into a surgical gown. All jewelery worn by the patient and accessories like watch, belt, should be removed prior to the scan. The doctor may prescribe a diet to be followed a day before the procedure.
The HIDA scan procedure begins with the patient being asked to lie down comfortably on his/her back. For the scan, a radioactive dye is injected into patient's veins. Through the blood stream, it reaches cells which form bile. Via the means of bile, the dye spreads to the liver, gall bladder and duodenum (part of small intestine).
A special scanner is moved over the abdomen to complete the procedure. This scanner can detect radioactive rays which are emitted due to the dye. This techniqueis used to create images of the entire hepato-biliary system.
These images can be used to detect whether any abnormal changes have taken place in any of the organs which are being studied.
Following health conditions can be diagnosed with the help of HIDA scan.
HIDA scan should be done only with a doctor's suggestion and not otherwise. Since it involves injection of a radioactive dye, the patient needs to be careful for a day or two after the procedure. This is because the dye is excreted out of the body through urine. It is essential to maintain hygiene so that the patient's urine does not come in direct contact with anyone. Also, the patient should notify the doctor for any past or current illnesses prior to the HIDA scan. The procedure can be used as a primary diagnostic test or for follow up of the above mentioned health conditions. It is a highly advanced procedure and provides a clear idea about the patient's health condition.