(IVP; Excretory Urography; Intravenous Urography [IVU])
An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is a test that evaluates problems in the urinary tract. It is done with an injection of material that is seen in the urine on x-rays.
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Reasons for Test
An IVP is done to identify:
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems like:
- Allergic reaction to iodine or shellfish
- Kidney failure
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
- Allergy to the iodine contrast material
- Blood disorders
- Poor kidney function
- Certain medications
Pregnant women should not have this test.
What to Expect
Prior to test
Leading up to the test:
- You will need to have kidney function tests.
- The day before the test, you may be asked to use laxatives and enemas to empty your digestive system. This is because stool in the intestines may make it harder to read the x-rays.
- Do not eat or drink after midnight.
Description of the Test
An IV will be inserted. This will provide the contrast material and any medication that you will need. For the next 30-60 minutes, you will lie on a table while x-rays are taken at regular intervals. You may be asked to hold your breath each time an x-ray is taken. The material will highlight your urinary system on the x-ray. This will allow your doctor to see these body parts at work and detect problems. Before the last x-ray, you will empty your bladder in a bathroom.
You will be able to resume your normal activities and diet.
How Long Will It Take?
About 60-90 minutes
Will It Hurt?
No, but you may feel a sensation of warmth or heat as the contrast material travels through your body.
It may take a few days to receive your test results. Your doctor will discuss the results with you, as well as any recommended treatment.
Call Your Doctor
It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Itching or skin rash
- Shortness of breath
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Urology Care Foundation
Kidney Foundation of Canada
Intravenous pyelogram (IVP). Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=ivp. Updated February 3, 2017. Accessed September 7, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Updated: 8/31/2015