Diagnosis

Tests and procedures used to diagnose gallstones include:

  • Tests to create pictures of your gallbladder. Your doctor may recommend an abdominal ultrasound and a computerized tomography (CT) scan to create pictures of your gallbladder. These images can be analyzed to look for signs of gallstones.
  • Tests to check your bile ducts for gallstones. A test that uses a special dye to highlight your bile ducts on images may help your doctor determine whether a gallstone is causing a blockage.

    Tests may include a hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Gallstones discovered using ERCP can be removed during the procedure.

  • Blood tests to look for complications. Blood tests may reveal an infection, jaundice, pancreatitis or other complications caused by gallstones.
Aug. 18, 2016
References
  1. Gallstones. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/gallstones/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  2. Understanding gallstones. American Gastroenterological Association. http://www.gastro.org/info_for_patients/2013/6/6/understanding-gallstones. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  3. Choi Y, et al. Biliary tract disorders, gallbladder disorders and gallstone pancreatitis. American College of Gastroenterology. http://patients.gi.org/topics/biliary-tract-disorders-gallbladder-disorders-and-gallstone-pancreatitis/. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  4. What are the risk factors for gallbladder cancer? American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/gallbladdercancer/detailedguide/gallbladder-risk-factors. Accessed June 16, 2016.
  5. Feldman M, et al. Gallstone disease. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 16, 2016.
  6. Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 23, 2016.