(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.
Anatomy of the Kidney
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.
Will It Hurt?
No, but you may feel a sensation of warmth or heat as the contrast material travels through your body.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you have any concerns after the procedure. Call if you have any of the following symptoms:
- 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. Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=ivp. Updated June 2, 2015. Accessed August 31, 2015.
Last reviewed August 2015 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.