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Gallbladder Ejection Fraction


What you need to know about gallbladder ejection fraction (GBEF):

GBEF measures how much bile your gallbladder releases at one time. Bile helps your body digest fat. When you eat fat, your gallbladder releases bile into your bile duct. A GBEF is usually measured during a hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan.


Why your healthcare provider will measure GBEF:

You may need your GBEF measured to check for problems with your gallbladder. Examples include an infection, swelling, or a blockage. Symptoms of gallbladder problems include the following:

  • Lump on the right side of your abdomen
  • Decreased appetite or weight loss
  • Fever or chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes

How to prepare for the test that measures GBEF:

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for the test. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything for 4 hours before the test. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take. You may need to stop taking certain medicines before the test. Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Medical shields can be used to protect your baby.

What will happen during the test:

A radioactive substance called a tracer will be injected into a vein, usually in your hand or arm. A healthcare provider will position a camera above your stomach. He or she will take pictures every 5 to 15 minutes for 1 to 2 hours. After these pictures are taken, you will be given medicine to make your gallbladder release bile. The medicine may cause nausea or abdominal pain. These symptoms should get better in a few minutes. More pictures will be taken as your gallbladder releases bile.

What will happen after the test:

More scans may be taken 24 hours after you have received the tracer. Your healthcare provider will tell you when to return if more scans are needed.

Risks of the test:

You may have an allergic reaction to the tracer.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have pain, redness, or swelling in the area where the tracer was injected.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Drink liquids as directed. You may need to drink extra liquids to flush the tracer out of your body. Ask your HP how much liquid to drink and which liquids are best for you.
  • Wash your hands well with soap and water after you use the bathroom. The tracer leaves your body within a few days through your urine or bowel movements. Your healthcare provider may tell you to flush the toilet 3 times after you go to the bathroom. This makes sure that none of the tracer is left in the toilet bowl.
  • Do not breastfeed for at least 48 hours or as directed. The tracer can leave your body through your breast milk.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.