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Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

What is IVP?

An Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray examination of the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder. Most people are familiar with x-ray images, which produce a still picture of the body’s interior by passing small, highly controlled amounts of radiation through the body, and capturing the resulting shadows and reflections on film.

Why is IVP done?

A radiologist can use an IVP study to find the cause of a wide variety of disorders, including frequent urination, blood in the urine, or pain in the side or lower back. The IVP exam can enable the radiologist to detect problems within your urinary tract resulting from kidney stones; enlarged prostate; tumors in the kidney, ureters, or urinary bladder; and other changes.

How is the test performed?

You should tell your doctor about any allergies you have to foods or medications, as well as any recent illnesses or other medical conditions. If you are diabetic, make sure your doctor is aware of your condition and the medications you take. Women should always inform their doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

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 your doctor’s instructions.

On the day of the test……

  • Please wear comfortable clothing while coming for the test.
  • Please do not bring valuables such as jewelry and credit cards.
  • Your test is performed by a registered technician.
  • The images will be interpreted by a board-certified radiologist.

During the test….

An IVP examination is usually done on an outpatient basis. The patient is positioned on the table, and a contrast material is injected, usually in a vein in the patient’s arm. Images are taken before and after the injection of the contrast material. As the contrast material is processed by the kidneys, a series of images is captured.

A typical IVP study usually takes about an hour.

After the test….

You will be able to resume your usual activities. Date and time for the collection of the report shall be communicated to you. Your physician will discuss the test results with you.

Are there any risks associated with the test?

Aside from a minor sting from the injection of contrast material, an IVP causes no pain. When the contrast material is injected, some people report feeling a flush of heat and, sometimes, a metallic taste in the mouth. These common side effects usually disappear within a minute or two and are no cause for alarm. Some people experience a mild itching sensation.

If it persists or is accompanied by hives, the itch can be treated easily with medication. In rare cases, a patient may become short of breath or experience swelling in the throat or other parts of the body. These can be indications of a more serious reaction to the contrast material that should be treated promptly, so tell the radiologist immediately if you experience these symptoms.

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, they are likely to indicate some other problem. Let your doctor know right away.

For more information please contact
Radiology Department
Extension: 4020

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