A cystourethrogram is an
X-ray test that takes pictures of your
bladder and urethra while you are urinating. Some results may be
available immediately after the cystourethrogram. Final results are usually
available within 1 to 2 days.
The bladder appears normal.
Urine flows normally from the bladder.
The bladder empties
all the way.
The contrast material flows evenly out of the bladder
through a smooth-walled urethra.
Bladder stones, tumors, narrowing or pouches in the
wall (diverticula) of the urethra or bladder are seen in the bladder.
If the test was done because of possible injury to the bladder, a tear is
found in the bladder wall or urethra.
Urine flows backward from
the bladder into the ureters (vesicoureteral reflux ).
Contrast material leaks from the bladder.
The bladder does not empty all the way.
prostate gland is enlarged.
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Having barium (from a previous
barium enema test), gas, or stool in the bowel.
- Being unable to urinate on command.
- Pain caused by having the catheter in the urethra. This may
also cause problems with your urinary stream. You may have a muscle spasm or
not be able to fully relax the muscles that control your bladder.
A cystourethrogram is not usually done during pregnancy
because the X-rays could harm an unborn baby.
What To Think About
Other tests that use X-rays and
contrast material to look for problems in the kidney, bladder, and urethra
Retrograde urethrogram. This test is sometimes used to check for problems with a man's
urethra. A small quantity of contrast material is injected into the urethra
through a catheter. X-rays are then taken. This test can help find tears, scar
tissue, prostate narrowing, tumors, or malformations of the urethra.
Whitaker test. Also called a pressure/flow study, this test combines X-rays with
measurements of pressure and flow in the kidneys and ureters. It is used to
find the cause of blockage of the kidneys.
Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) IVP is commonly done
to diagnose certain diseases of the urinary tract (such as kidney stones,
tumors, or infection) and detect abnormalities of the urinary tract that were
present from birth (congenital). It can show the size, shape, and position of
the kidneys, the bladder, the ureters, and the urethra, and it can evaluate the
collecting system inside the kidneys. To learn more, see the topic
Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP).