An endoscope, a flexible fiberoptic scope with a light, is inserted through the mouth into the duodenum. A catheter is advanced through the endoscope and inserted into the pancreatic or biliary ducts. A contrast agent is injected into these ducts and X-rays are taken to evaluate their caliber, length and course. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is performed to identify any narrowing, stones, or tumors in the pancreatic or biliary ducts.
Review Date 1/1/2019
Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.