Diagnostic Imaging: Kidney X-ray or Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

What is an intravenous pyelogram (IVP)?
Intravenous pyelograpm imageAn intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray examination of the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder. Most people are familiar with x-ray images, which produce a still picture of the body's interior by passing small, highly controlled amounts of radiation through the body, and capturing the resulting shadows and reflections on film. An IVP study uses a contrast material to enhance the x-ray images. The contrast material is injected into the patient's system, and its progress through the urinary tract is then recorded on a series of images. The exam enables the radiologist to review the anatomy and the function of the kidneys and urinary tract.

What are some common uses of the procedure?
A radiologist can use an IVP study to find the cause of a wide variety of disorders, including frequent urination, blood in the urine, or pain in the side or lower back. The IVP exam can enable the radiologist to detect problems within your urinary tract resulting from kidney stones; enlarged prostate; tumors in the kidney, ureters, or urinary bladder; and other changes.

How do I prepare for the procedure?
If you are on a Metformin containing oral diabetic medication or allergic to x-ray dye, (contrast) please call  519-646-6044 for special booking requirements

Bowel Preparation:
300 ml bottle Citro-Mag (Magnesium Citrate) Please refer to package insert for warnings and precautions for use. 

Day Before the Examination:
1. Eat a normal breakfast
2. BEFORE taking Citro-Mag, drink a full glass ( 250ml) of water or clear liquids every hour for 4 to 6 hours : apple juice, Jell-O, chicken broth,
Gatorade, Black tea and coffee, popsicles, pop, ice, etc.  No solid food or milk products.
3. At 12:00 pm  (noon), drink 300 ml of Citro-Mag (cold)
4. Drink one glass of fluid ( 250 ml) every hour for 3 to 4 hours after taking Citro-Mag.
5.  Liquid dinner of clear fluids ( clear fluids can be  consomme, apple juice, Jell-O, chicken broth, Gatorade, Black tea and coffee, popsicles, pop, water, ice,
6.  NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT (UNTIL THE TEST IS FINISHED)

Please do not bring small children to your appointment unless accompanied by another adult.
St. Joseph's is a fragrance free facility.  Please do not wear perfume, cologne or scented body products.

*If you have any allergies, please let the technologist know so that precautionary measures can be taken.

How does the procedure work?
Intravenous pyelograpm imageDifferent tissues, such as bone, blood vessels, and muscles and other soft tissues, absorb x-ray radiation at different rates. When a special image plate is exposed to the absorbed x-rays, an image of the inside of the body is captured.

An IVP study requires the use of a contrast material to help tissues show more clearly on the x-ray image. As the contrast material moves into and through the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder, the technologist captures a series of images that track its progress.

How is the procedure performed?
Before introducing the contrast material, the Technologist will ask whether the patient has any allergies and whether the patient has a history of diabetes, asthma, a heart condition, or kidney problems. You may also be asked if you have had any prior surgery on the urinary system.

An IVP examination is usually done on an outpatient basis. The patient is positioned on the table, and a contrast material is injected, usually in a vein in the patient's arm. Contrast (iodine) excreted in the urine shows outlines of the kidneys and demonstrates the inner "collecting system" and ureters as well. The inner structures appear white on the image. Images are taken before and after the injection of the contrast material. As the contrast material is processed by the kidneys, a series of images is captured to determine the actual size of the kidneys and to show the collecting system as it begins to empty. Some kidneys don't empty at the same rate and delayed films from 30 minutes to three or four hours may be requested. However, a typical IVP study usually takes about an hour.

Near the end of the exam, you may be asked to empty your bladder so that an additional film can be taken of your urinary bladder after it empties.

What will I experience during the procedure?
When the contrast material is injected, some people report:

  • A cool feeling leading away from the injection site.
  • A warm sensation travelling from the back of your throat, through your abdomen and into the groin.
  • A metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Or, you may feel nothing at all.

In rare cases a patient may experience a more serious reaction to the contrast material which would be treated promptly.

The contrast material used for IVP studies will not discolor your urine or cause any discomfort when you urinate. If you experience such symptoms after your IVP exam, they are likely to indicate some other problem. Let your doctor know right away.

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?
A radiologist, who is a physician experienced in IVP and other radiology examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report with his or her interpretation to the patient's primary care physician. The patient receives IVP results from the referring physician who ordered the test results. New technology also allows for distribution of diagnostic reports and referral images over the Internet at many facilities.

Last updated: Tue, 2013-04-09 15:56