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Alternative namesExcretory urography; IVP
An intravenous pyelogram is a type of X-ray examination specifically designed to study the kidneys, bladder, and ureters (the tubes which carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder).
After iodine-based contrast dye is injected intravenously (into a vein), a series of images are taken at timed intervals. The kidneys are responsible for removing contrast dye from the blood and collecting it in urine.
Abnormalities in the appearance of the kidneys or ureters, distribution of contrast within a kidney, asymmetry in the amount of contrast in each kidney, or defects in the collecting systems can be identified and are suggestive of particular diseases and conditions.
How the test is performed
As with other studies, the test is performed in a hospital radiology department or in the health care provider's office by an X-ray technician. The patient will need to urinate immediately prior the procedure to ensure the bladder is empty, and intravenous access will be placed in a vein of an arm. An initial "scout" image will be taken with the patient lying on his/her back.
Once the injection of contrast is complete, it is necessary to remain still during the procedure, which may take up to one hour. A compression device (a wide belt containing two balloons that can be inflated) may be used to keep the contrast material in the kidneys.
At the end of the procedure, the patient will again be asked to void for a final image to see how well the bladder has emptied. Usual diet and medications should be resumed after the exam, and adequate hydration is recommended to ensure complete removal of contrast from the blood.
How to prepare for the testAs with all X-ray procedures, inform the health care provider if you:
Infants and children:
The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experiences, and level of trust. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child's age:
How the test will feel
Why the test is performed
The procedure helps evaluate infections in the bladder and the kidneys, blood in the urine , flank pain (which may be from kidney stones ), tumors, and evaluates the urinary tract for damage after an abdominal injury.
Recently, computed tomography (CT) has replaced IVP as the primary tool for evaluation of the urinary system since it can be rapidly performed, uses less contrast solution, and provides additional imaging of the abdomen which may reveal other potential sources for the patient's symptoms.
What abnormal results meanThe test may reveal kidney diseases , birth defects, tumors, kidney stones , and inflammation caused by infections.
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
What the risks are
There is a chance of an allergic reaction to the dye, even if the patient has received prior injections of contrast without incident. Physicians should seek alternative imaging of the urinary system for patients with documented allergies to iodinated contrast, including retrograde pyelography (performed by urologists), MRI, or ultrasound.
Pregnant women and children are more sensitive to the risks of the X-ray.
Update Date: 4/22/2003Benjamin Taragin, M.D., Department of Radiology, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT