An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) or intravenous urogram (IVU) is an X-ray study of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder. The study uses an X-ray dye to enhance the X-ray images.
The contrast material is injected into a vein (usually where the elbow bends). As it passes through the kidneys, ureters and bladder, it is recorded on a series of X-rays. The exam enables the radiologist to review the anatomy and function of the kidneys and urinary tract.
If you had a previous allergic reaction to IV X-ray dye, please tell your doctor, the radiologist or the technologist. Your doctor will need to prescribe medications to be taken the day before and day of the scan.
What should I expect during my IVP exam?
You will be positioned on an exam table and asked to hold your breath as X-ray equipment moves over you. Several X-rays may be taken during the course of the study. During the imaging process you may be asked to turn from side to side and to hold several different positions to enable the radiologist to capture views from several angles. Near the end of the exam you may be asked to empty your bladder so that an additional film can be taken of your urinary bladder after it empties.
The contrast material used for IVP studies will NOT discolor your urine or cause any discomfort when you urinate. If you experience such symptoms after your IVP exam, let your doctor know right away.
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Your doctor will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for your IVP study.
You will likely be instructed not to eat or drink after midnight the night before your exam. You may also be asked to take a mild laxative (in either pill or liquid form) the evening before the procedure. Follow the instructions carefully.
If you are allergic to any medications, or have had a previous allergic reaction to X-ray dye, please tell your doctor, the radiologist, or the technologist