Sincalide cholescintigraphy--32 years later: evidence-based data on its clinical utility and infusion methodology

Semin Nucl Med. 2012 Mar;42(2):79-83. doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2011.10.002.


Sincalide cholescintigraphy was first reported to have clinical utility in 1980. Since then, many publications have found that a reduced gallbladder ejection fraction (GBEF) can confirm the clinical diagnosis of acalculous chronic gallbladder disease and predict symptomatic relief with cholecystectomy. However, some publications had not found the test clinically predictive. Many different sincalide infusion methods and normal values have been used. It had been suspected that the different infusion methods and normal values might account for the variability in reported utility. Furthermore, clinical review articles have raised questions about the evidence-based quality of the published data on the diagnostic utility of sincalide cholescintigraphy. A recently published multicenter trial has established the optimal methodology for sincalide infusion and normal values. A subsequent multispecialty consensus publication has recommended that this method be the standard method for sincalide infusion, specifically, a 60-minute infusion of 0.02 μg/kg (abnormal GBEF, <38%). The consensus publication also recommended that a large, multicenter, randomized, prospective trial was needed to confirm the utility of a low GBEF to predict acalculous chronic gallbladder disease and the patient's response to cholecystectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Gallbladder / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Radionuclide Imaging / methods*
  • Sincalide / administration & dosage*


  • Sincalide