An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray examination of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder that uses iodinated contrast material injected into veins.
An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.
When contrast material is injected into a vein in the patient's arm, it travels through the blood stream and collects in the kidneys and urinary tract, turning these areas bright white on the x-ray images. An IVP allows the radiologist to view and assess the anatomy and function of the kidneys, ureters and the bladder.
Why should I do it ?
- An intravenous pyelogram examination helps the radiologist assess abnormalities in the urinary system, as well as how quickly and efficiently the patient's system is able to handle fluid waste.
The exam is used to help diagnose symptoms such as blood in the urine or pain in the side or lower back.
The IVP exam can enable the radiologist to detect problems within the urinary tract resulting from:
- kidney stones
- enlarged prostate
- tumors in the kidney, ureters or urinary bladder
- scarring from urinary tract infection
- surgery on the urinary tract
- congenital anomalies of the urinary tract
Any preparations needed?
- 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 on 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.
- You should inform your physician of any medications being taken and if there are any allergies, especially to iodinated contrast materials. Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
- You will be asked to remove some of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, removable dental appliances, eye-glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.
- Women should always inform their physician and x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.