A percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTCA) is an
PTCA; Cholangiogram – PTCA
How the test is performed
The test is performed in a radiology department by a radiologist.
You will be asked to lie on your back on the x-ray table. The health care provider will clean the upper right side of your belly area and then apply a numbing medicine.
X-rays are used to help the health care provider locate your liver and bile ducts. A long, thin, flexible needle is then inserted through the skin into the liver. The health care provider injects dye, called contrast medium, into the bile ducts. Contrast helps highlight certain areas they can be seen better. More x-rays are taken as the dye flows through the bile ducts into the small intestine. This can be seen on a nearby video monitor.
How to prepare for the test
Inform the health care provider if you are pregnant. You will be given a hospital gown to wear and will be asked to remove all jewelry.
You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for 6 hours prior to the exam.
Tell your health care provider if you are taking any blood thinners such as warfarin (coumadin) or Plavix (clopidrogrel).
How the test will feel
There will be a sting as the anesthetic is given and some discomfort as the needle is advanced into the liver. You may be given medication for sedation and/or pain control. Generally, the x-ray itself causes little or no discomfort.
Why the test is performed
This test can help diagnose the cause of a bile duct blockage.
Bile a liquid released by the liver. It contains cholesterol, bile salts, and waste products. Bile salts help your body break down (digest) fats. A blockage of the bile duct can lead to swelling of the gallbladder or pancreas.
This results of this test may help your doctor plan treatments for a bile duct blockage. For example, it can help determine where a drainage tube or stent can be placed.
What abnormal results mean
The results may show that the ducts are enlarged, which may indicate the ducts are blocked. The blockage may be caused by scarring or stones. It may also indicate
Blocked bile ducts Cholangitis(infection in common bile duct)
What the risks are
There is a slight chance of an
There is a slight chance of damage to nearby organs, excessive blood loss, blood poisoning (
This test has been mostly replaced by an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (
A magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a newer, noninvasive imaging method, based on