A cystourethrogram is an
X-ray test that takes pictures of your
bladder and urethra while your bladder is full and while you are
urinating. A thin flexible tube (urinary catheter ) is
inserted through your urethra into your bladder. A liquid material that shows
up well on an X-ray picture (contrast material) is injected into
your bladder through the catheter, then X-rays are taken with the contrast
material in your bladder. More X-rays may be taken while urine flows out of
your bladder, in which case the test is called a voiding cystourethrogram
If X-rays are taken while contrast material is being
injected into the urethra, the test is called a retrograde cystourethrogram
because the contrast material flows into the bladder opposite the usual
direction of urine flow.
Why It Is Done
A cystourethrogram is done to:
How To Prepare
Tell your doctor if:
- You are or might be pregnant.
- You are breast-feeding. The contrast material used in this test can get into your breast milk. Do not breast-feed your baby for 2 days after this test. During this time, you can give your baby breast milk you stored before the test, or formula. Discard the breast milk you pump for 2 days after the test.
- You have symptoms of a urinary tract infection, such as pain or burning when you urinate.
- You are
allergic to the iodine dye used in the contrast
material or any other substance that contains iodine. Also tell your doctor if
asthma, are allergic to any medicines, or have ever
had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis),
such as after being stung by a bee or from eating shellfish.
- Within the past 4 days, you have had an X-ray test using barium
contrast material, such as a
barium enema, or have taken a medicine (such as
Pepto-Bismol) that contains bismuth. Barium and bismuth can interfere with test
- You have an
intrauterine device (IUD) in place.
This test is often done in children to see if they may have an abnormal backflow of urine (vesicoureteral reflux). Prepare your child for exams and tests that are needed by explaining them in a simple way. Use positive words as much as possible. Doing so will help your child understand what to expect and can help reduce fears.
You may be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need
for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may mean. To
help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).