Also called excretory urography or IVP, this x-ray is used to
evaluate the structure and function of the kidneys, bladder and
ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder). It
is most commonly used to detect obstruction, as in the case of
kidney stones, or suspected tumors, cysts, or other conditions of
the urinary tract.
• After positioning on an x-ray table, x-ray dye (contrast medium)
is injected into the bloodstream and x-rays are taken at frequent
intervals as the dye travels from the kidneys through the urinary
• The abdomen may be compressed to restrict the dye to the upper
urinary tract for the first part of the study.
• You will then be instructed to urinate, and another x-ray is
• The test usually takes less than an hour to perform, although in
cases of obstruction delayed films may be taken for several hours.
• The contrast dye may produce a burning sensation and a fishy or
metallic taste in the mouth.
• There is some risk of allergic reaction to the contrast.
• There is a small risk of excess radiation exposure (but not
radiation sickness) if multiple x-rays are required
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