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Understanding MRCP Test Prices in India

Medically reviewed by Dr Rohan J Harsoda – MBBS, DNB(General Surgery)

What is the MRCP Test/Scan?

MRCP, short for magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, is a special kind of imaging test that helps doctors see inside certain organs in your belly without needing to do surgery. It shows details of your pancreas, gallbladder, and liver, along with their ducts or tubes.

Compared to another test called ERCP, MRCP is less invasive, which means it’s gentler on your body. Doctors use MRCP to find out if you have issues like gallstones or pancreatitis. They can also use it to check for problems in a baby before it’s born and to see if there are any complications after surgery.

The cost of an MRCP test can vary depending on where you get it done, the quality of the machine used, and the reputation of the medical centre. It usually falls somewhere between Rs. 3000 to Rs. 8000. This blog will cover everything you need to know about MRCP, including how it’s done, what affects its price, and more.

Advantages of MRCP

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) offers several advantages over other imaging techniques, making it a preferred choice for many patients:

  1. Non-invasive:MRCP avoids the need for needles, incisions, or any other form of physical intrusion into the body. This translates to a painless experience compared to more invasive procedures.
  2. Radiation-Free:Unlike X-rays and CT scans, which utilise ionising radiation, MRCP does not expose the patient to potentially harmful radiation. This benefit is particularly significant for pregnant women, children, and individuals who may require frequent imaging studies.

When Might You Need an MRCP?

Your doctor may order an MRCP if you are experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pain, especially in the upper right abdomen
  • Yellowing of your skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting

An MRCP may also be recommended if you have a history of certain conditions, such as pancreatitis or gallstones, or if you are having a procedure on your bile ducts or pancreas.

MRCP is a safe and painless procedure that does not involve any radiation. However, it is important to tell your doctor if you have any claustrophobia or metal implants in your body, as these may make the procedure difficult or impossible.

MRCP Test Price in Various Indian Cities

As mentioned earlier, the price of an MRCP test in India fluctuates across diagnostic centres. The base cost typically spans from around ₹3,000 to ₹8,000, depending upon factors such as the diagnostic centre’s location, city, and the quality of the MRI scan equipment utilised. You can take a detailed look at the price range below.

T3 Tests

If your healthcare professional thinks you might have hyperthyroidism, even if your T4 is normal, they might do a T3 test to be sure. Sometimes, even if T4 is normal, T3 can be high. So, checking both T4 and T3 levels helps diagnose hyperthyroidism.
As discussed earlier, the HBsAg test is a blood test that helps doctors check for the hepatitis B virus in a person’s body. If the test finds the virus and specific antibodies in the blood, it means the person has a hepatitis B infection. This infection can be passed to others through blood or body fluids.

Thyroid Test Price in India

Delhi ₹3000 - ₹7,500
Hyderabad ₹4,500 - ₹6,500
Bangalore ₹4,500 - ₹5,250
Mumbai ₹4,050 - ₹5,250
Chennai ₹4,500 - ₹6,200
Kolkata ₹4,050 - ₹5,000
Gurgaon ₹4,050 - ₹7,200

Factors Affecting the Cost of MRCP Test

  1. Location:

    The price of a test might change depending on where you are – like the city or region.

  2. Hospital/Imaging Centre:

    The cost can be different based on the place’s reputation, the quality of equipment they use, and how good their facilities are.

  3. Type of Facility:

    Prices may vary if you go to a government-run hospital, a private hospital, or a standalone imaging centre.

  4. Inclusion of Contrast Agent:

    Using special contrast agents in the test can make the overall cost go up.

  5. Additional Services:

    Things like fees for the radiologist, consultation charges, and other services can add to the total cost.

  6. Health Insurance Coverage:

    If you have health insurance, it can change how much you pay out of your own pocket for the test.

  7. Negotiation:

    Some facilities may offer discounts or negotiate prices, especially if you’re paying without insurance.

The Procedure for the MRCP Scan

Before the scan:

  • The radiographer will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you have.
  • You’ll lie down on a comfortable table and may be secured with straps to minimise movement during the scan. This is important to get clear pictures.
  • Since the MRI scanner is quite loud, you’ll be provided with headphones to help reduce noise and make the experience more comfortable.

During the scan:

  • If you feel claustrophobic or anxious about the enclosed space within the scanner, let the staff know beforehand. They might be able to offer techniques or accommodations to help ease your anxiety.
  • The radiographer will be monitoring you from a separate room but will be able to communicate with you through a microphone and speaker system if needed.

Interpreting MRCP Results

Your MRCP test results are carefully examined by a radiologist to detect any irregularities. MRCP scanning is a safe diagnostic method with minimal associated risks. While uncommon, potential side effects may include discomfort at the injection site, as well as sensations of dizziness, headache, or nausea.

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Closing Thoughts

While the thought of medical tests can be daunting, MRCP offers a non-invasive and radiation-free option to explore potential concerns within your body. Should your doctor recommend an MRCP, rest assured you’re in good hands. The insights gained from this imaging test can pave the way for informed decisions about your well-being. It’s all about getting the best picture of your health, without the drama of surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

MRCP can serve as an alternative to ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram), an invasive procedure utilising dyes and X-ray imaging to capture photos of the pancreatic duct, pancreas and bile ducts.

The primary distinctions between MRCP and ERCP lie in the less invasive nature of MRCP, reduced procedural time, and absence of radiation exposure, making it a safer option.

The magnetic field itself isn’t harmful to patients, but it can interfere with certain medical devices. While most orthopedic implants typically do not present risks, they may be affected by the magnetic field.
Both Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) utilise magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of internal body structures. MRCP is a specialised form of MRI focusing on specific organs. Occasionally, a comprehensive abdominal MRI may be necessary concurrently with an MRCP procedure.
The MRCP test usually lasts around 15 minutes. However, it’s advisable to allocate a one-hour timeframe for the test to accommodate potential waiting periods for the doctor and test preparation procedures.
Individuals recommended for the MRCP test are eligible to undergo the procedure. However, patients with specific medical devices such as metal coils in blood vessels, brain aneurysm clips, ear implants, and older versions of pacemakers or cardiac defibrillators should inform their doctor about these devices before scheduling the test.
The sensitivity of the MRCP test is as high as 71 – 100%. Moreover, its accuracy falls within the range of 89% to 94%.

Advantages of an MRCP Scan:

  • Non-invasive Procedure: MRCP scans carry minimal risk of side effects or complications since they do not involve invasive techniques.
  • Efficiency: MRCP scans are quick and straightforward.
  • Safety: MRCP scans do not expose patients to radiation, making them safe for pregnant women and children.

Advantages of an ERCP Scan

  • Timely Surgical Intervention: ERCP allows for immediate surgical procedures if necessary.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: It is a relatively cost-effective diagnostic process.
  • Patient Comfort: ERCP is a preferred option for individuals who experience claustrophobia, as it does not involve enclosed spaces typically associated with other imaging techniques.
Jigar Patel is the Founder of Health-e, a HealthTech app that simplifies health records management along with providing personalized and preventative healthcare solutions. Although he has 20+ years of operations and management experience in the EPC domain, Jigar’s true passion lies in making healthcare simpler, faster and more accessible for doctors and patients alike. He strongly believes that people need to be empowered to participate in their own healthcare and is constantly thinking of ways to build this into his app. He loves to keep things simple be it in life, product design, his work or the content he develops. Being married for 10 years and having 2 kids have taught him that perspective matters, so you can always count on him to share new perspectives on various topics.