A classification has been made of various types of stratification phenomenon during intravenous cholangiography. The stage of gallbladder opacification in the recumbent position has been classified as (I) mottled, (II) dendritic, (III) ring-like, and (IV) homogeneous. 'Dendritic' type of stratification phenomenon has never been reported in the literature to our knowledge. At 20 min following infusion of contrast material homogeneous opacification of the gallbladder was noticed in only 14% of patients. The others fell into types I, II or III of stratification phenomenon. In contrast, 87% of the opacified gallbladders were homogeneous on the after fatty meal film. It is therefore mandatory for diagnosis that either a 24 h film or a fatty meal film be taken to avoid the stratification phenomenon.