The vicarious excretion of intravascular contrast in the gallbladder does not in itself indicate renal or hepatobiliary disease. Although commonly associated with unilateral renal pathology, vicarious gallbladder excretion of urographic contrast may be a normal variant in some patients.
Gallbladder opacification from vicarious excretion of urographic contrast agents may indicate decreased renal function. Doses of contrast material greater than 12.5 g, however, provide enough iodine for visualization of the gallbladder in patients whose renal function is normal. Gallbladder opacification following the administration of urographic contrast material when renal function is normal has no pathologic significance.
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