How do I prepare for MRCP


During the examination, you will lie in a tube about 70 to 100 centimeters long. Claustrophobic patients should inform the caring staff of this before the examination begins. In consultation with our doctors, a sedative tablet can be given if necessary. Please note that once you have taken them, you are no longer allowed to drive. In exceptional cases (e.g. in the case of extreme claustrophobia and children), if informed in good time, a short anesthetic can be carried out in cooperation with the anesthetist colleagues.

The device makes very loud knocking noises during the examination. That is why the patient is put on soundproof headphones.

It is very important that you state before the examination whether you have a pacemaker or whether there are other metal parts in your body (e.g. artificial metal heart valves, insulin pumps, vascular prostheses (stents), vascular clips, metal splinters, ...). In patients with cardiac pacemakers, an MRI scan should only be performed in clearly defined cases. For any other metal parts, timely consultation with our doctors is necessary. Depending on the exact model, e.g. of implants, an examination may be carried out. Tell us or your attending doctor as precisely as possible what type of metal it is; it is best to present an implant / prosthesis passport.

Before the examination, you must remove all metal parts. Electronic objects, watches, credit cards and other chip cards must not be brought near the device as they will be rendered unusable.

For some questions, a special contrast medium, usually containing gadolinium, is injected. The following questions should therefore be clarified before the examination:

  • Are your kidneys working properly and are they able to excrete the contrast medium without being damaged?
    In contrast to the iodine-containing contrast agent, which is used in computed tomography, the MRT contrast agent can be administered largely without hesitation, even with moderate impairment of kidney function.
    If you have kidney dysfunction, a laboratory value to determine kidney function (creatinine) should be taken prior to the examination. If possible, please bring this value with you (e.g. from your family doctor or referring physician).
  • Is there a known allergy to MRI contrast media?

Basically, you only have to appear sober for the examination in a few special cases. This applies above all to the display of the biliary tract (so-called MRCP) and examinations with a focus on the gastrointestinal tract (so-called MRT Sellink examination). If you are unsure whether to stay sober, please ask your referring doctor. If necessary, he can also consult with us.

When examining the gastrointestinal tract (so-called MRI Sellink), the informative value is also significantly increased by a contrast medium filling. You may therefore be asked to drink about 1-2 liters of contrast fluid. In order to achieve an even contrasting of the bowel, you should take the liquid gradually over a specified period of time (usually approx. 60 minutes).

You should not drive home yourself, especially after an MRI of the abdominal cavity, as a drug (buscopan) that is often administered in advance of the examination can impair vision.