Childr Health Information

Hepatobiliary Scan (HIDA)

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Topic: Tests & Procedures

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about the hepatobiliary (HIDA) scan. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand. This information does not replace information given to you by your physician or other members of your child’s health care team.

It is very important for both you and your child to be prepared for the procedure.  Being prepared will help you get your child ready for the test and support him or her through it.

What is a hepatobiliary scan?
A hepatobiliary scan is an x-ray that checks how the gall bladder works.  It is often used for complaints of abdominal (stomach) pain.

What happens during a hepatobiliary scan?
The staff will ask you some questions about your child’s health history before the HIDA scan is done.  This information will help the x-ray doctor (radiologist) when he or she looks at your child’s pictures.

Your child will require one or two injections (shots) of medicine for the hepatobiliary scan. He or she will be taken to a room where an IV catheter will be put into his or her vein.  

Your child will be on a padded table with the camera above his or her abdomen (stomach). Your child will get an injection (shot) of a radioactive medicine. This medicine is put into your child’s vein through the IV catheter. It travels to the liver, gall bladder and small intestine to make them show up better on the pictures. Pictures will begin right away and last for 60 minutes.  An x-ray doctor will look at these first pictures to decide if more pictures are needed.  If so, your child will be given a second medicine (that is not radioactive) through his or her IV. This medicine makes the gallbladder start working.  Pictures then continue for another 30 minutes. It is safe to be in the room during the scan. The technologist remains in the room to operate the computer.  You are welcome to sit at your child’s side throughout the scan.

What will my child feel during a hepatobiliary scan?
Your child may feel some discomfort with the injection (shot).  Your child will be asked to lie on his or her back.  The camera does not touch your child or make any noise. He or she will not feel the camera taking pictures.  It is very important for your child to lie as still as possible during the test.  We may use blanket wraps and safety belts to help your child be still.  We have toys and videos to distract your child or you may bring a favorite toy or video from home.   Your child may experience nausea (upset stomach) or stomach cramping when the second medicine is given. 

How can I help prepare my child for a hepatobiliary scan?
You will get instructions about what you child can eat before the test. 

When and how to explain the HIDA scan to your child depends on his or her age. No explanation is needed for infants, as long as you understand the test.  Toddlers require a very simple explanation just before the test begins.  Older children need more detailed information ahead of time.  Adolescents should be prepared far enough in advance to give them time to ask questions.

When you get to the hospital, a staff member will discuss the scan in an age-appropriate way with your child.  He or she will talk about any concerns that you or your child may have. At Dayton Children’s, we take these extra steps to make sure we lower your child’s anxiety and make this experience as comfortable as possible.

How can I help my child during a hepatobiliary scan?
Many times just being in the room with your child is enough to soothe him or her.  Parents are welcome in the room while we explain, discuss and perform the test.  Other family members will be asked to wait in our waiting room.  If your child has a special toy or blanket that calms them, please bring it with you. The staff in nuclear medicine may use toys, books or videos to keep your child content during the test.  Crying is healthy because it allows children to express their emotions. 

What happens after the hepatobiliary scan?
Your child may resume normal activities after the exam.  A report will be sent to your referring doctor, usually within a week.

For further questions about this test, please call Dayton Children’s medical imaging department: 937-641-3888 or 1-800-228-4055.

PDF: Child Health Information - HEPATOBILIARY SCAN (HIDA)

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.


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