Gallbladder Disease and Liver Health

How is Gallbladder Disease Diagnosed?

A thorough physical examination which will spot a distended abdomen and jaundice, along with the following tests, may be performed in order to diagnose gallbladder disease.

  • Complete blood count (CBC) – examines levels of different types of blood cells such as white blood cells. A high white blood cell count may indicate infection.
  • Abdominal X-ray – which may show evidence of gallbladder disease, such as gallstones.
  • Liver function tests (LFTs) – blood tests that can show evidence of gallbladder disease.
  •  Blood test – A check of the blood’s amylase or lipase levels to look for inflammation of the pancreas. Amylase and lipase are enzymes produced in the pancreas.
  • Ultrasound – uses sound waves to image the intra-abdominal organs including the gallbladder.
  • Computed tomography (CT)- scan that constructs X-ray images of the abdominal organs.
  • HIDA scan (cholescintigraphy) – a radioactive material called hydroxy iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) is injected into the patient. The radioactive material is taken up by the gallbladder to measure gallbladder function.
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) – uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to produce detailed pictures.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) – a tube is placed down the patient’s throat, into the stomach, then into the small intestine. Dye is injected and the ducts of the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas can be seen on X-ray.
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