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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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:
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Pregnant women should not have this test.
Leading up to 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.
About 60-90 minutes
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.
It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
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:
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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