Skip to page contentSkip to footer

HF 4337

Intravenous Urography (IVU) and Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

Your doctor has ordered an intravenous urogram (IVU) or intravenous pyelogram (IVP) for you. This handout helps you prepare for the test.

Tell your primary doctor before you are scheduled if you:

  • Have not had a kidney function test

  • May be pregnant

  • Are breastfeeding

  • Have an allergy to iodine contrast 

  • Have any food or medicine allergies

  • Have asthma

  • Have heart or lung problems

  • Are taking glucovance or metformin (Glucophage®) for diabetes

  • Have renal failure

  • Are being treated with interleukin-2

  • Have myasthenia gravis, multiple myeloma, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, sickle cell disease, hyperthyroidism or pheochromocytoma

If you have any of the above, you may need special medicine or care before the test. You may need another test instead of the IVU/IVP.

What is an IVU/IVP?

It is an x-ray exam of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. We give you an iodine liquid contrast through a vein. This contrast shows up on x-rays when it reaches the kidneys. The kidneys get rid of the contrast into the ureters that drain into the bladder. We do this test to check patients with problems such as blood in the urine, stones, blockage, developmental problems, and as a check before some surgeries.

To prevent bowel contents from blocking the view of the kidneys, we will ask you to do a bowel prep the night before. This will give us better pictures.

4337

What is iodinated contrast dye?

Iodine is seen on x-rays. We will place an IV before the test to inject contrast. We inject contrast into the arteries or veins to show certain parts of the body with x-rays. This contrast will pass through the kidneys within 24 hours. Some people may have a bad reaction to contrast. 

You should not have an x-ray test if there is a chance you could be pregnant. A small amount of contrast agent will get into breast milk. Some women prefer to discard breast milk for 24 hours after having IV contrast, but the small amount that the baby would receive should not cause problems.

Before You Come In

The night before your test drink 10 ounces of magnesium citrate between 4 and 6 p.m. unless your doctor tells you not to. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.

The morning of your test do not eat or drink. You may take medicines with a sip of water. If you take insulin, talk with your doctor.

Go to Outpatient X-ray, G3/3, at _____________ on _____________.

During the Test

We will ask you to lie on a table for about 60 minutes. We will take some test pictures before we give you the x-ray contrast. If you are allergic to iodine, please tell the staff. After we give you the contrast, you may feel warm or have a metallic taste in your mouth for a short time. Let the x-ray tech know if you have any pain. Often, we will place a cloth compression band across your lower abdomen to help keep the contrast in the kidneys. 

As we take pictures, the pictures are reviewed by a radiologist. We may take more films, if needed. We may ask you to return for delayed films.

After the Test

You may eat after the exam. Drink plenty of fluids. You will be able to resume your normal routines after the test. If you are diabetic and taking glucovance or metformin (Glucophage) you should hold off taking these drugs for 48 hours after the exam.

Who to Call

If you have any questions or concerns, please call (608) 262-8492 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.