Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP), Intravenous Urogram (IVU) is a special x-ray examination of the urinary system which consists of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder. A contrast agent is injected into the patient’s vein and a series of x-ray images are then recorded as the contrast agent is progressing through the urinary tract. An intravenous pyelogram allows the radiologist to view and assess the pathology and function of the kidneys, ureters and the bladder with radiographs.
Indications for an IVP include:
-Back or flank pain
-Hematuria (blood in urine), burning, frequent urination
-Stone in the urinary system
-Tumors in the urinary system
-Urinary tract infection
-Congenital anomalies, e.g. renal agenesis, renal ectopia (a kidney that is not located in its usual position)
-Treatment planning or follow-up
Limitations for this procedure include:
-An intravenous pyelogram is not usually indicated for pregnant women.
-It is not appropriate for those with chronic illness such as asthma, kidney failure, seafood allergy, or iodinated contrast medium allergy.
-It is not appropriate for those who have abnormal glomerular filtration rate (GFR), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), or creatinine levels.
Imaging of the urinary tract with intravenous pyelogram is a minimally invasive procedure with rare complications. Intravenous pyelogram images provide valuable, detailed information to assist physicians in diagnosing and treating urinary tract conditions. To determine the function of the urinary tract. No radiation remains in the patient’s body after an x-ray examination.
-Imaging of the urinary tract with IVP is a minimally invasive procedure.
-IVP images provide valuable, detailed information to assist physicians in diagnosing and treating urinary tract conditions from kidney stones to cancer.
-An IVP can often provide enough information about kidney stones and urinary tract obstructions to direct treatment with medication and avoid more invasive surgical procedures.
-No radiation remains in a patient's body after an x-ray examination.
-X-rays usually have no side effects in the typical diagnostic range for this exam. VP studies can cause adverse allergic reactions in some people, sometimes requiring medical treatment.
-Women should always inform their physician or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
-There is always a slight chance of cancer from excessive exposure to radiation. However, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs the risk.
-The effective radiation dose for this procedure varies. See the Radiation Dose in XRay and CT Exams page for more information about radiation dose. -Contrast materials used in I
The intravenous pyelogram is usually a relatively comfortable procedure. You will feel a minor sting when the small needle is inserted into the vein. When the contrast agent is injected, you may feel flushing throughout your body, bitter taste in the throat or a bad smell from the contrast agent. These common side effects usually disappear within a few minutes. During the imaging process, you will be asked to turn from side to side and to hold several different positions and hold your breath for clarity images. At the end of the intravenous pyelogram exam, the film of your full-filled bladder will be taken and you will be asked to empty your bladder before the last film is taken.
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. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.
You don't need any special care after an IVP. You may go back to your usual diet and activities, unless your healthcare provider tells you differently. Your doctor will tell you to keep track of how much fluid you are drinking and how much urine you pass over the next 24 hours. You may be told to drink more fluids to help flush the contrast dye from your body. The contrast material used for IVP studies will not discolor your urine or cause any discomfort when you urinate.
There is a chance of an allergic reaction to the dye, even if you have received contrast dye in the past without any problem. If you have a known allergy to iodine-based contrast, a different test can be done. Serious allergic reactions can include; shortness of breathe, swelling of throat, low blood pressure, cardiac arrest. These complications are however, extremely rare and your doctor will ensure that you get the test required in order to prevent such complications. Other tests include retrograde pyelography, MRI, or ultrasound. There is low radiation exposure. Most experts feel that the risk is low compared with the benefits. Children are more sensitive to the risks of radiation. This test is not likely to be done during pregnancy.
What if the procedure is not performed?
This procedure is used for diagnosis and without it the doctor may be unable to plan treatment for your condition, which may then worsen and lead to serious complications.