How Much Does an MRCP Test Cost?

Written by: Staff

The magnetic resonance cholangiography, known as the MRCP, is a type of magnetic resonance imaging test.

It is a non-invasive and easily performed diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreas for an infection, tumor gallstones and/or inflammation.

‘With a high diagnostic accuracy, an MRCP test is considered to be completely safe and is well tolerated by patients.

CAT scanner by Muffet, on Flickr
CAT scanner” (CC BY 2.0) by Muffet

How much does and MRCP test cost?

The MRCP test can range anywhere from as little as $300 to as much as $1,500 without any insurance.

This National Center for Biotechnology Information study had noted the costs, outside of the UK, were $356 for two to three areas, with contrast, on an outpatient basis.

For those who do have health insurance, be sure to check with your provider to learn about what is going to be covered and what you will be responsible for.  As long as deemed medically necessary, you should be covered, and you will only be responsible for your co-pay/deductible.  If you are in need of a new policy, consider looking through hundreds for free at

MRCP test overview

An MRCP will use MRI technology, essentially making it an MRI scan.  This scan will use a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create pictures of your internal tissues, organ and structures inside of your body to create images on a computer.  If necessary, you may receive a contrast to help enhance the photos.

Before you’re able to enter the MRI machine, you will first be asked to remove any jewelry, hairpins, hearing aids and anything else that can be affected by a magnet.  You will then be asked to wear a gown.

During the scan, you will be asked to lie on a table, which will then be slid into the MRI scanner.  The part of the body targeted will have a device take pictures, sending it to the computer.  While inside, you will be able to talk with the radiographer via an intercom, and due to the loud noises being produced while the machine is running, you’re often able to wear headphones to drone out the sound.

The entire procedure is painless and can take up to 60 minutes to perform.  As for the results, a radiographer may be able to discuss some results immediately; however, for results from a doctor, it could take up to two to three days.

What are the extra costs?

If you have the fear of enclosed spaces or are anxious about the scan, then your physician may want to write a prescription for a mild sedative before the scan starts.

Physicians will use an MRCP scan to examine the disesases of the liver, bile ducts, pancreas and/or gallbladder or to evaluate patients with pancreatitis to detect the underlying cause.  While this scan can help diagnose an underlying issue, additional tests and/or treatment options may be needed in the future, increasing the costs.

Tips to know:

Due to the strong magnet an MRI machine uses, patients with a metal won’t be able to scan.  Before the procedure, the hospital or facility will be able to discuss what’s required before you come in before the scan.

If you are claustrophobic, make sure you tell the doctor ahead of time.  Aside from this, it’s always best to tell your doctor about any health issues, recent surgeries, allergies and/or if you’re possibly pregnant.

While the procedure is painless and safe, some people, while it’s rare, may experience a rash from the contrast dye.

How can I save money?

Shop around before deciding on a location.  Third party testing centers will always be cheaper than a local hospital.

If you are uninsured, you may be able to obtain a 15 to 40 percent discount if you pay in cash up front.

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