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Test Details
Test Code:RA0221
Test Name:I V Urography (IVP)
Test Details & Preparation
Intravenous urography (also known as intravenous pyelography) is an X-ray procedure which is used to assess problems in the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. These structures make up the urinary tract. The ureters are tubes which go from each kidney to the bladder. The urethra is the tube from the bladder that passes out urine.

The urinary tract does not show up well on ordinary X-ray pictures. However, with intravenous urography a contrast dye is injected into a vein ('intravenous' injection). The dye travels in the bloodstream, concentrates in the kidneys, and is passed out into the ureters with urine made by the kidneys.

The dye blocks X-rays so the structure of the kidneys, ureters and bladder shows up clearly as white on X-ray pictures. The X-ray pictures produced are called an intravenous urogram (IVU), but can also be called an intravenous pyelogram (IVP).

Intravenous urography can help to assess a range of problems including kidney stones, urine infections, blood in the urine and obstruction or damage to any part of the urinary tract can often be seen on an IVU.

Before an Intravenous urography your kidneys have to be able to filter the dye. Therefore, it is seldom performed if you have kidney failure. Before the procedure you may need a blood test to check that you do not have kidney failure. Tell your doctor if you have any allergies, especially allergy to contrast dyes such as iodine. You may be given some laxatives to take for a day or so before the procedure. The aim of this is to clear the intestines, which will make the X-ray pictures clearer. You may be asked not to eat for several hours before the procedure. This ensures that your gut (intestines) is empty of food, which makes the X-ray pictures clearer.

Pregnant women, if possible, should not have any X-ray tests, as there is a small risk that X-rays may cause an abnormality to the unborn child. This is why women are asked before having an X-ray if they are, or might be, pregnant.
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