Print this page | E-mail this page

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

What is an IVP?

An IVP is a special kind of x-ray that shows urine flow.

Why is an IVP done?

Normally, the kidneys filter waste (urine) from the body. The urine flows down the ureters (small tubes) from the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder is the part of your child's body that stores urine. When it is time for the bladder to empty, the sphincter (muscle) relaxes and the bladder squeezes the urine out.

Once the bladder is empty, the sphincter tightens; the bladder relaxes and starts to refill. The urethra is the tube the urine flows through from the bladder to the outside of the body.

An IVP may be done if your child has:

  • blood in his/her urine
  • flank (side) pain -this may be a sign of kidney stones
  • been in an accident causing an injury to the abdomen or back

Before the IVP:

Your child should drinks lots of water the day before the study. He should not eat anything 4 hours before the study.

What happens during an IVP?

Before the IVP is started, an x-ray may be taken of your child's kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Your child will lie on his/her back during the procedure. A needle will be inserted into a vein in your child's hand or arm so the IVP dye can be put into the vein. X-rays will be taken to watch as the dye moves through the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Your child may feel warm or have a slightly salty taste in his/her mouth as the dye goes through his/her veins. This feeling does not last long. You child may be asked to pass urine at the end of the test. Another x-ray will then be taken to see if any urine is left in the bladder.

The test usually takes 45 minutes to 1 hour, but it may take longer if the doctor wants more pictures.

After the IVP:

After all the pictures have been taken your child will be discharged home or taken back to his/her hospital room.

Please call your doctor for a follow-up appointment or if you have any questions.


Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 03/07