Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

An intravenous pyelogram, also called intravenous urography, is a diagnostic X-ray of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. When a contrast dye is injected intravenously (IV), the urinary tract will show up very clearly, which is not seen on regular X-rays. An intravenous pyelogram may be done for many reasons, including the following to:

As the contrast dye moves into and through the kidneys, ureters, and bladder, X-rays taken at short intervals can capture its movement. A delay in the contrast dye moving through the urinary system may indicate an obstruction (blockage) in the kidney’s blood flow or poor kidney function.

A radiologist can then assess the function and detect abnormalities of the urinary system. This test is usually ordered as one of the first tests in cases of suspected kidney disease or urinary tract disorders.

IVP may be performed at the same time as a computed tomography (CT) scan of the kidneys (also called nephrotomography). This test, like the IVP, is performed after contrast dye has been injected, but unlike a standard X-ray, provides images of layers or “slices” of the kidney.

As newer technologies are developed, other procedures such as CT, MRI, and ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) are often used instead of IVP.

How are intravenous pyelograms performed?

Intravenous pyelograms are usually performed on an outpatient basis, although they can be part of inpatient care.

An intravenous pyelogram procedure follows this process: