An IVP or intravenous pyelogram or as known is some areas as an IVU or intravenous urogram, is a contrast X-ray study of the kidney, ureter, and bladder.
This X-ray study requires several sequential images of the abdomen and pelvis before, during and after administration of intravenous contrast agent. An IVP usually requires 30 minutes to complete but can take longer if the contrast takes excessive time to enter and clear the kidney. An IVP can provide information about kidney structure and function. Indications for obtaining an IVP include renal or ureteral stones, renal or ureteral obstruction, flank pain, hematuria, ureteral or kidney tumors, recurrent urinary tract infections, and congenital anomalies of the urinary tract. The sequential X-rays increase the amount of information obtained over an ultrasound or KUB as the function of the kidneys can roughly be assessed by the clearance of contrast from the kidneys.
As the study requires contrast agent for imaging the urinary tract, an intravenous catheter (IV) will have to be placed prior to the X-ray. As with most contrast X-ray studies, blood work will be required before the appointment for the IVP to confirm normal kidney function. In addition, most imaging centers ask patients to take a medication to induce bowel movements the day prior to the study. Also, most imaging centers ask the patient to drink only fluids on the day of the procedure. Both the laxative and the clear liquids help improve the ability to see fine detail in the urinary tract during the IVP. Most patients will be sent to Southwest Diagnostic Imaging for the IVP.