IVU - Intravenous Urogram

Why an Intravenous Urogram (IVU)?

The IVP demonstrates the "renal tract". The renal tract is made up of the kidneys, the ureters which are the tubes between the kidneys and bladder, and the bladder.

Preparing for the test

If you have had a previous IVU, abdomen x-ray, kidney ultrasound or CT please bring your films and/or report with you.

You will not be able to eat or drink for three hours prior to this test.

The test usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes; at the start you will be asked to undress, only leaving on your underpants and singlet. The Radiographer (X-ray technician) will give you a gown to wear (like a big T shirt).

Female patients - please let us know prior to this test if you are, or think you may be pregnant.

Who does the test?

A Radiologist (Doctor specialising in medical imaging) and a Radiographer will be in the room with you during this test. They will explain the procedure, but don't hesitate to ask them if you do not understand.

Contrast media

See contrast medium for more information.

This examination requires you to have an injection of a contrast medium. This fluid is opaque to X-rays; is concentrated in the kidneys, and goes into the bladder before being passed out with urine. It is colourless, so you cannot see it when you go to the toilet.

Shortly after the injection, some people report feeling a warm flush, and sometimes have a metallic taste in their mouth.

These usually disappear within a minute or two, and are no cause for alarm. Should you become itchy or short of breath, let the Radiologist know straight away, as you may have a slight reaction to the contrast and need to have some antihistamine.

If you have asthma or severe allergies, the Radiologist may suggest you take a steroid, or use other imaging options. The Radiologist will discuss this with you and your Doctor.

Prior to the examination, we will give you information on contrast media and will ask you to sign a consent. If you have any questions, please discuss these with the Radiographer and / or Radiologist.

The procedure

You will lie on an X-ray table where the Radiographer will take a image of your abdomen. These images are to see if any stones are shown anywhere in the renal tract.

The Radiologist will then give you an injection in your arm. After this injection, a series of images will be taken over the next 30 minutes as the dye passes through your renal tract. At one stage, a tight band may be placed on your lower abdomen. This helps us to obtain maximum filling with the contrast medium, and thus better detail of the kidneys.

At the end of the examination, you will be asked to empty your bladder and another image taken to see the empty bladder.

At the completion of the examination

After the Radiologist has seen your X-rays and the test is completed, you may go home. You can eat and drink normally. The contrast media is passed out of the body very quickly, and you will not notice it in your urine.

After the examination

The Radiologist will review the images and provide a written report to your referring doctor.

Please settle your account on the day of the examination.

Please contact Hamilton Radiology for an appointment on 07-839 4909 or 0800 HAMRAD (0800 426723)

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