Alternate Names : IVP, Intravenous Pyelography, Excretory Urogram
An intravenous pylogram is a test that uses x-rays to look at the structure and function of the urinary system. X-rays consist of electromagnetic waves of energy. The X-rays penetrate the body to varying extents depending on the density of the structures being viewed. The result is black and white images of interior portions of the body.
Who is a candidate for the test?
Reasons for having an intravenous pyelogram include:
blood in the urine
pain in the mid or lower back
pain in the abdomen
injury to the kidneys
suspicion of cancer
mass in the abdomen
high blood pressure
How is the test performed?
Before having the test, the individual needs to undress completely and put on an exam gown. He or she will lie on the x-ray table facing up. The technologist will take a "scout" x-ray, which is an x-ray taken to identify exactly where the kidneys and bladder are located. A large dose of iodinated contrast material, or dye, is injected into a vein in the arm. The order in which x-rays are taken will depend on the problem being investigated. Six or seven pictures are usually taken. These may be combined with another imaging technique that views the kidney in slices like bread, which is called a kidney tomogram. Toward the end of the session, the person empties his or her bladder. A final picture is taken is taken after urination.
When the test is performed on children or pregnant women it is shorter and includes fewer pictures. The technologist will look at the pictures. If they are okay, the person is free to leave.