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Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

How It Feels

You will feel no discomfort from the X-rays. The X-ray table may feel hard and the room may be cool. You may find that the positions you need to hold are uncomfortable.

You will feel a brief sting when the needle is inserted into the vein in your arm. When the contrast material is injected, you may feel slight burning in your arm and flushing throughout your body. You may also notice a salty or metallic taste in your mouth.

The compression belt may feel tight. If it is painful, tell the technologist and ask that it be readjusted.

You may feel slightly weak, nauseated, or lightheaded for a short time after the test.

Risks

There is always a slight chance of damage to cells or tissue from radiation, including the low levels of radiation used for this test. But the chance of damage from the X-rays is usually very low compared with the benefits of the test.

There is slight risk of having an allergic reaction to the contrast material. The reaction can be mild (itching, rash) or severe (trouble breathing or sudden shock). Death resulting from an allergic reaction is very rare. Most reactions can be controlled with medicine. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have asthma or allergies of any kind, such as hay fever, iodine allergy, bee stings, or food allergies.

People with certain conditions (such as diabetes, multiple myeloma, chronic kidney disease, sickle cell disease, or pheochromocytoma) have increased chances of having sudden kidney failure from IVP. Older adults and people taking medicines that affect the kidney may also have increased chances for problems after an IVP.

Results

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an X-ray test that provides pictures of the kidneys, the bladder, the ureters, and the urethra (urinary tract camera.gif). Your doctor may be able to talk to you about some results right away. Complete results are usually ready in 1 to 2 days.

Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
Normal:

The kidneys, ureters, and bladder are normal in position, size, and shape.

The contrast material reaches the kidneys in a normal amount of time.

No blockage can be seen in the kidneys, ureters, or bladder.

In men, the prostate gland looks normal in position, size, and shape.

Abnormal:

The kidneys, ureters, or bladder may be abnormal in position, size, or shape. A kidney may be absent, or an extra kidney or ureter may be present.

The kidneys are too large or too small.

The contrast material takes longer than normal to reach a kidney.

An abnormal growth (such as a tumor), one or more cysts, an abscess, or a kidney stone is seen.

A kidney is swollen with urine from a blockage such as a tumor or kidney stone.

Injury to the kidney, ureter, or bladder is seen.

The kidney contains scarring.

In men, the prostate gland is too large.

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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