An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an imaging procedure which provides detailed pictures of the urinary tract. The test requires injection of a contrast agent, which circulates through the body and highlights the kidneys, ureters and bladder.
Patient Information
The patient is positioned on the table, and a contrast agent is injected, usually in a vein in the patient's arm. Contrast (iodine) excreted in the urine shows outlines of the kidneys and demonstrates the inner "collecting system" and ureters as well. The inner structures appear white in the image. Images are taken before and after the injection of the contrast material.
As the contrast material is processed by the kidneys, a series of images is captured to determine the actual size of the kidneys and to show the collecting system as it begins to empty. Some kidneys don't empty at the same rate and delayed films from 30 minutes to three or four hours may be requested. However, a typical IVP study usually takes about an hour.
Certain patients are at higher risk for experiencing side effects to intravenous (IV) contrast material. These include patients who have had previous reactions to contrast material or any other drug, as well as patients who have hay fever, allergies, asthma, emphysema, kidney disease, multiple myeloma, diabetes or heart disease. If you have any of these conditions, please inform the technologist or radiologist who is performing your examination.

Before the Procedure


Day before exam:
At 3 p.m. drink 1 bottle of magnesium citrate (available at any pharmacy).
Dinner: begin liquid diet (Jell-O, soda, juice, and clear broth)

Day of exam:
Clear liquid diet, but then nothing by to eat or drink 4 hours prior to the exam.

Patients 70 years or older/Patients with a history of renal disease:
Requires additional bloodwork including BUN and creatinine prior to procedure.