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Gallbladder Ejection Fraction

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What do I 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 test called a hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan.


Why does my healthcare provider need to 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 do I prepare for the test that measures GBEF?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for the test. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything for 4 hours before the test. Tell your provider about all the medicines you take. You may need to stop taking certain medicines before the test. Tell your 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 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 provider will tell you when to return if more scans are needed.

What are the risks of the test?

You may have an allergic reaction to the tracer.

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Further information

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