Intravenous Pyelogram

Intravenous Pyelogram

The kidneys do not show up particularly well on an ordinary X-ray of the abdomen. It may be possible to see the shape of each kidney and it will probably be possible to see if any stones are present. However, there is no detail of the internal structure and it is not possible to say how well the kidneys might be working. Injection of a special contrast agent providesgreater detail of their internal structure as well as a rough assessment of how well each kidney is working.


Frequently asked questions:

Q:  What can I expect when I go for an IVP?

A:  Before you are taken into the X-ray room you will be asked to empty your bladder.  After an ordinary X-ray of your abdomen is taken you will have the injection of contrast medium and additional x-rays taken. On some occasions you may have a tight band placed across your abdomen to improve the detail of your kidneys. Before the end of the examination you may be asked to go to the toilet again and empty your bladder.


Q:  How do I prepare for an IVP?

A:  You will be asked not to drink for a few hours beforehand and a laxative may be recommended. 


If you are receiving treatment for diabetes, please inform the radiology department in advance so that you can be given special instructions about what you should do before and after the IVP. This is particularly important for patients taking Metformin.


It is essential that any woman who is pregnant, or might be pregnant, notify the radiology department in advance. You might not be able to have this examination and some other procedure may be used.


Q:  When will I get the result?

A:  A report will be provided at the end of the study. Generally expect the total time in the department to be at least an hour.


Q:  Do I need to book an appointment?

A:  Preferably, yes. This allows enough time for proper preparation. However, exceptions are made in the case of an emergency.

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