May 23, 2007 – Healthcare has recently discovered that milk can be used as a contrast agent in gastrointestinal CT exams, and now clinicians are finding that the use of blueberry juice used in conjunction with MRI exams captures a clearer image of the bile ducts.
The supervisor of MRI in the Radiology Department at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Wayne Patola, is using blueberry juice when taking MRI exams of the bile ducts. “The fluid in the stomach is always in the way and degrades the image,” according to Patola. Research has shown “that blueberry juice, as well as tea, pineapple juice and Kaopectate, given orally will affect the way the fluid behaves on MRI and effectively remove it from appearing on the image." He added, “This allows for better visualization of the bile ducts.”
Patola continued, “The department recently started using blueberry juice in this manner and has achieved good results. Also, it’s nice to be giving patients something to drink that they actually enjoy.”