The retrograde pyelogram uses a dye to
determine whether a
kidney stone or something else is blocking your
urinary tract. During the test, your doctor will insert a thin, lighted tube
(cystoscope) into the
urethra, which carries urine out of the body from the
bladder. He or she will then put a
catheter through the cystoscope and into a
ureter, which carries urine from the kidney to the
bladder. Dye is injected through the catheter and X-rays are taken.
If you've had a kidney stone once, you're at an increased risk for another one. A urologist is frequently involved in deciding whether you'll need an extensive medical evaluation, including testing the amounts of various minerals in your urine, to assess further risks of stone formation.
If your kidney stone is small, it may pass out of your body on its own within a few days or weeks. Your health care provider will likely ask you to drink lots of water -- 2 to 3 quarts a day -- and prescribe a pain...
Pregnant women normally do not have this test, because the
X-rays may harm the unborn baby.
Findings of the retrograde pyelogram may
include the following.
The kidneys, ureters, and bladder appear normal.
The flow of the dye (contrast material) is blocked,
either by a stone or another urinary problem.
What To Think About
The retrograde pyelogram provides
the same information as an intravenous pyelogram (IVP). However, the retrograde
pyelogram can be used even if you are allergic to the dye. This test does not
risk making existing kidney damage worse.
Unlike the IVP, the
retrograde pyelogram requires an anesthetic and that a catheter be inserted
into the urinary tract.