Medical Imaging

X-ray > Exams & Procedures > Intravenous Pyelogram/Urogram (IVP)

The Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) is used to examine the function of the urinary system: kidneys, ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder) and the bladder.

Preparation

This examination requires some preparation on your part. This is done to minimize shadows from the colon overlying the areas of interest.

Contrast

The contrast used in this examination has several contraindications and you will be asked several important questions prior to this examination to determine if this contrast is right for you. You will be asked about your allergic history and your general health.

The contrast is a clear injectable fluid that is processed and excreted from the body by the kidneys.

About the Procedure

When you arrive the day of your examination, you will be escorted to an area where you can change your clothes. At this time you will be taken into the examination room where the procedure will take place.

The technologist will explain the procedure and then inquire about your allergic history to determine if the contrast is right for you. If there is any reason to suspect that a reaction may occur with the injection, the technologist will consult a radiologist who may also ask you a few questions. The radiologist may suggest premedicating before the injection, or another type of examination. Most people tolerate this injection with no problem.

St. Michael's Hospital is a teaching facility and there may be a student technologist or radiology resident present for your examination. These students are highly trained and closely supervised to provide you with the best care while maximizing their education.

Once it has been decided to go ahead with the procedure, the technologist will give you an injection of the contrast into a vein in your arm or hand. You may feel warm and flush all over your body, a metallic taste in your mouth, an urgency to urinate, or nothing at all. These sensations are mild and quickly disappear. The technologist will be beside you throughout and you should feel free to communicate how you feel with them.

After the injection, the technologist will begin taking X-rays. These are specific views, taken at specific time intervals after the injection to show different functions of the urinary system. This part of the test takes about 20 minutes. Once all of the images have been obtained and one of our radiologists has checked them, the examination is over.

At this time, you may change and go home, returning to your normal eating and drinking habits. Your films will be examined later in the day by a radiologist who will report his or her findings and send them to your doctor. The technologist present for your examination cannot legally discuss the findings with you. It can be difficult to wait for results but understand that every effort will be made to get the results to your doctor as quickly as possible.