X-ray of Kidneys - IVP

This is a test that uses a series of X-rays to create images of the kidneys, ureters and bladder.

This is a test that uses a series of X-rays to create images of the kidneys, ureters and bladder.

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is a series of X-rays to create detailed images of the urinary tract. This includes:

  • The kidneys, where urine is made
  • The bladder, where urine is stored
  • The ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder
  • The urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body

During an IVP X-rays are taken before and after a dye is put into a vein in your arm or hand. The dye helps to highlight the organs in the urinary tract so they can be seen better. An IVP can help:

  • Locate and measure stones in the kidney
  • Look for structural abnormalities in the urinary tract
  • Find the cause of recurring urinary tract infections
  • Evaluate the effect of trauma on the urinary tract
  • Find the cause of blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Evaluate the urinary tract for the presence of a tumor

Ultrasounds are imaging tests that do not expose you to radiation and/or contrast dye. Due to the availability of these tests, IVP's are not done as often as in the past.

Here are some things you should know before having an IVP:

  • You may be told not to eat or drink for up to 8 hours before the test. Follow instructions given to you by your healthcare provider
  • Tell the technician if you are, or could be, pregnant. The exposure from a single X-ray has not been associated with harmful effects to an unborn baby, but precautions should be taken. In some cases, other imaging studies (such as an ultrasound) may be more appropriate.
  • You will be given a contrast dye as an injection. The dye helps some organs show up better in the pictures.
  • The contrast dye may cause you to feel flushed or to have a bad taste in your mouth for a short time.
  • You will need to stay still during the test, so the technician can take a clear image.
  • The technician may ask you to move into other positions, so he or she can take different images.

The costs for this test include the charge for the test (facility charge) and physician charges (for performing or interpreting the test). You may get separate bills from the facility and the physician's office.

What should I ask my health care provider before having this test?

  • Can I eat before the test? If not, how many hours before the test should I stop eating?
  • Do I need to have the test with dye? If I do, should I be concerned if I have allergies?
  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear steps to follow.)
  • What is the reason for the test? Are the test results likely to change my treatment plan? If not, why do I need the test?
  • Are there any less expensive, but effective, alternatives to my getting this test?
  • Are there any effective alternatives that avoid radiation and dye exposure?

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

X-ray of Kidneys - IVP

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