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Intravenous pyelography (IVP) is an X-ray test that provides pictures of the urinary tract, which consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra.
For Your Safety
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant. Your doctor may decide whether to postpone the exam or use an alternative exam such as ultrasound to reduce the possible risk of exposing your fetus to radiation.
This exam requires patients to consume a contrast material. If you have allergies or asthma, there is a slight risk of an allergic reaction to the material. Most reactions result in itchiness or hives. For individuals with asthma who are allergic, the reaction can be an asthma attack. In very rare instances, an allergic reaction may cause swelling in your throat or other areas of your body. Diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or thyroid conditions also increase your risk of reaction to the contrast material. Immediately tell your technologist or doctor if you experience any of these symptoms during or after your exam. Our staff and physicians are prepared should any type of emergency situation occur.
Preparing for an IVP Exam
The day before your exam:
- At 4 p.m., take three Dulcolax tablets with 16 oz. water. You may substitute two tbsps. Phospho-Soda or 4 oz. Neoloid for Dulcolax.
- Eat a low fiber diet: no raw vegetables, fruits, whole wheat bread, cereal, red meat, fried or fatty foods, dairy products, rich desserts or nuts.
- Clear liquids only after midnight.
On the day of your exam, do not drink any liquids beginning two hours before your test.
What to Expect During an IVP Exam
You will wear an X-ray gown and be asked to lie on an X-ray table. The nurse will insert a small catheter into a vein in your arm or hand. X-ray dye will be injected into your bloodstream. Please inform the technologist if you have an allergy to dye. The dye is filtered through your kidneys and gathers in your bladder. Images are taken immediately after injection, five minutes after injection and 10 minutes after injection. The radiologist will review the images to see if they have captured the right level of detail; if so, you will be taken to a bathroom and asked to empty your bladder.
A radiologist will review your exam images and report the findings to your doctor. Your doctor will then discuss the findings and next steps with you.