Thursday, June 30, 2011

HIDA Scan That Would Not End

Thank goodness I have someone visiting who can just up and toddler sit for 5 hours because the two hour HIDA scan? Went on and on and on.

My gallbladder wouldn't dump the radioactive dye. They had me walk. And walk. Jump up and down. Go to the cafeteria and sniff food in the hopes of prompting the gallbladder to empty. I got in a full 30 minute workout trying to get that stuff to move.

Two hours later, it finally started to empty. Emphasis on started. They went back and forth trying to decide if the dye had really moved into my small intestine or not. The doctor said no. So I had to walk some more. Then three nuclear techs hemmed and hawed over the films (video?) and, finally, everyone agreed it had moved.

So they did the CCK thing so they could measure the gallbladder ejection fraction. For something that was previously so sluggish, it did manage to contract and move stuff along with the CCK.

I was released four hours later only to return because I bled through the band aid and all over my shirt. Of course I wore a nice shirt. Which is now ruined.

While it is not normal for the dye to take 2 hours to clear the gallbladder, that doesn't mean the HIDA scan is abnormal.

Place your bets. Will the HIDA scan show the gallbladder has to go? Or is it just a GERD gut motility thing?

I bet the HIDA scan will be normal. I think it's probably a gut motility issue.

On the upside, the test reproduced the appendicitis symptoms so now I know I feel that way when the gallbladder isn't emptying like it should.


  1. How can that possibly be "normal"?

  2. There are patients who go through that and are told their test was normal. Heck if I know why. The techs told me it wasn't normal.

    A lot depends on the ejection value. My guess is that's the more important data point.

    Also, it could be that the GERD meds are trashing my gallbladder. Finding lots of info on that right now.


  3. A guy I lived with for a while in grad school had an attack of pancreatitis, landed him in the hospital. They did a hida scan and said it was "normal". Turned out the ejection fraction or whatever it's called was like one point above the abnormally low range. He was discharged with the diagnosis of "gastroparesis diabeticorum" (I nearly laughed at the GI doc who delivered that one in the hospital..."hey a-hole, I can make up a fancy latin name for something lame too!" I wanted to say.) My partner went home, made the requisit follow up appointment with a GI doc for two months out, and was encouraged to eat gallbladder taxing crap by his family over the intervening holidays. I kept saying "hey let's just stick to low fat, ok? Because this seems really gallbladdery." One GI appointment and MRI later, he was scheduled for a remove the stone laden gallbladder.

    I know I'm preaching to the choir when I say this but I'm gonna say it anyhow. Why the hell are there so many medical practitioners who don't consider test results in CONJUNCTION with symptoms (and other test results!)? What is wrong with these people? Why are they allowed to get the same fees and reimbursements that other better doctors get? Oh it's such a travesty - it really gets me angry.

    Climbing off soap box now...

    Interesting to hear that the GERD meds can mess with you gallbladder. I have NEVER heard this and I've been on that crap since I was a kid. Fantastic. Guess I'll go do some reading up.

  4. Preach it sista! Amen!

    I think the gallbladder can be tricksy. There are lots and lots of patient stories about how doctors have missed the diagnosis.



Thanks for your comment. I read all comments and do my best to respond to questions, usually in a new post.

If you have adrenal issues and want to connect with other patients the following message boards are wonderful resources: