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Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

How To Prepare continued...

You may need to stop eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours before the IVP. You also may need to take a laxative the evening before the test (and possibly have an enema the morning of the test) to make sure that your bowels are empty.

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. Explain 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.

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 will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

How It Is Done

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is usually done by a radiology technologist. The IVP pictures are interpreted by a doctor who specializes in interpreting imaging tests (radiologist).

You will need to remove any jewelry that might interfere with the X-ray picture. You will need to take off all or most of your clothes, and you will be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the test. You will be asked to urinate just before the test begins.

During the test

You will lie on your back on an X-ray table. An X-ray picture of your belly will be taken and reviewed by the radiologist before the next part of the test begins.

The injection site on your arm will be cleaned and the contrast material will be injected into a vein on the inside of your elbow. The dye travels through the bloodstream, is filtered out by the kidneys, and passes into the urine. The urine then flows into the tubes (ureters) that lead to the bladder.

X-ray pictures are taken several minutes apart as the dye goes through the urinary tract. Each picture is developed right away. Sometimes more pictures are taken based on earlier ones. You may be asked to turn from side to side or to hold several different positions so the radiologist can take a complete series of X-rays.

During IVP, a compression device may wrapped around your belly to keep the dye in the kidneys. The most common compression device is a wide belt containing two inflated balloons that push in on either side of your belly to block the passage of dye through the ureters. If you have recently had abdominal surgery or have an abdominal disorder, the band will not be used.

A special type of X-ray technique called fluoroscopy may also be used during IVP. During fluoroscopy, a continuous X-ray beam is used to display a moving image on a video monitor.

IVP usually takes about an hour.

After the test

After the test is over, you will need to drink plenty of liquids to help flush the contrast material out of your body.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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