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Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Being unable to remain still during the test.
  • Having a large amount of stool (feces) or gas in the large intestine (colon).
  • Having a recent test with barium (such as a barium enema) or bismuth.

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is not usually done for a pregnant woman because the X-rays could damage the growing baby. If a view of a pregnant woman's kidneys is needed, an ultrasound test may be done instead.

What To Think About

  • A preliminary X-ray picture (KUB) of your abdomen will be taken before the intravenous pyelogram (IVP). This picture is reviewed by the radiologist before the next part of the test begins. An IVP test may not be done if these pictures show a problem.
  • Other tests that may be used instead of an intravenous pyelogram (IVP) include computerized tomography (CT scan), ultrasound, digital subtraction angiography, and, occasionally, MRI.
  • For people who have known kidney problems, diabetes, or who are dehydrated, steps may be taken to prevent kidney damage. Less contrast material may be used and additional fluids may be given before, during, and after the test.
  • If you have had kidney problems in the past, blood tests for creatinine and blood urea nitrogen may be done before the test to make sure that your kidneys are working properly.
  • Another test that may be done to look at the urinary tract is retrograde ureteropyelogram. Retrograde ureteropyelogram is done when IVP results do not help identify a problem or when IVP can't be done because of poor kidney function or an allergy to the iodine contrast material.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAvery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
Last RevisedJune 29, 2012

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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