An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray examination of the kidneys, urethras, and urinary bladder that uses contrast material. The ureters are the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
When the contrast media is injected into the patient's arm, it travels through the blood stream and collects in the kidneys and urinary tract, turning these areas bright white on the x-ray image.
An IVP allows the radiologist to view and assess the anatomy and function of the kidneys and lower urinary tract, as well as how quickly and efficiently the patient's system is able to handle fluid waste.
The conventional IVP studies have now been replaced by CT studies in many instances, especially suspected stones. It is much quicker, needs no contrast to see stones and gives accurate information.
You will be instructed not to eat or drink after midnight on the night before your exam.
You may also be asked to take a mild laxative (in either pill or liquid form) the evening before the procedure.
During the imaging process, you may be asked to turn from side to side and to hold several different positions to enable the radiographer to capture views from several angles. Near the end of the exam, you may be asked to empty your bladder so that an additional x-ray can be taken of your urinary bladder after it has emptied.