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An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an imaging test that uses a contrast mediumcontrast mediumA substance used in some diagnostic procedures to help parts of the body show up better on x-rays or other imaging tests. (radiopaque iodine) and x-rays to produce images of the urinary tract (kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra). The radiopaque iodine concentrates in the urine. The x-rays show the size, shape and position of the urinary tract. The IVP also shows kidney function and how well the bladder empties.
An IVP is also called an:
Intravenous pyelogram may be done to:
The IVP is usually done as an outpatient procedure in the x-ray department of a hospital or clinic. The test usually takes about 1 hour to complete.
During the test:
After the test, the person will be instructed to drink plenty of fluid to help flush the radiopaque iodine from the body.
X-rays involve low levels of ionizing radiation, which has the potential to cause cancer and other defects. The number and complexity of x-rays needed to diagnose and determine the extent of a disease can vary. Even with multiple and repeated x-rays, the total dose of radiation and the associated risk is small.
X-rays are strictly monitored and controlled to make sure they use the smallest amount of radiation possible. The expected benefits of the x-rays must always outweigh any possible risk for the x-rays to be done.
Some potential side effects associated with IVP include:
An IVP can show:
The doctor will decide whether further tests, procedures, follow-up care or treatment is needed.
IVP is not commonly used with children. Being prepared for a test or procedure can reduce anxiety, increase cooperation and help the child develop coping skills. Parents and caregivers can help prepare children by explaining to them what will happen, including what they will see, feel and hear during the test.
The preparation you can provide for this test depends on the age and experience of the child. See the following for more age-specific information on helping children cope with tests and treatment.
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