CT Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP/Urogram) Protocol

CT Intravenous Pyelogram (CT IVP or CT Urogram) is an exam that uses an injection of contrast material into the veins followed by Computed Tomography imaging to evaluate kidneys, ureters, and bladder. The exam helps to diagnose urinary tract disorders such as kidney stones, urinary tract obstruction, or cancer. Often symptoms for this procedure are, but not limited to, hematuria (blood in the urine), flank (back) pain and abnormal lab work.

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Jump Ahead:

When contrast material is injected into a vein in the patient’s arm, it travels through the bloodstream and collects in the kidneys and urinary tract, turning these areas bright white on the x-ray images. A CT IVP allows the radiologist to view and assess the anatomy and function of the kidneys, ureters and the bladder and is a valuable tool for diagnosis and treatment.

What Are Some Common Uses for the CT IVP Procedure?

There are a variety of reasons why a patient might benefit from an IVP examination. The procedure helps the physician assess abnormalities within the patient’s urinary system by producing a clear, detailed image of the affected area. IVP also demonstrates the efficiency of the patient’s system in terms of handling fluid waste.

Some of the common problems within a patient’s urinary tract include:

  • Enlarged prostate
  • Surgery performed on the urinary tract
  • Kidney stones
  • Scarring from a previous urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Tumors in the ureters, kidney or bladder
  • Congenital abnormalities within the urinary tract

An IVP exam can also help the physician diagnose symptoms such as pain in the side or lower back or blood in the urine.

What to Expect During the IVP Procedure

Before the procedure begins, you will need to change into medical scrubs (top and pants) or a hospital gown, which our facility will provide. You will also need to remove glasses, hearing aids, jewelry, and anything else made of metal, as the material can affect the quality of the images. You can store your belongings in a locker at our facility.

During the IVP exam, you will lie on a table while the technologist takes still x-ray images. Your technologist will then inject you with contrast material before taking another series of still images.

While the x-ray is being taken, you will need to remain as still as possible to prevent a blurred image. You will be alone in the room during the x-ray, but the technologist will be in an adjoining control room where they can see and communicate with you.

In some cases, the technologist might apply a compression band around your body to get a better image of the urinary structures. IVP imaging allows the physician to see the size of the kidneys as well as any abnormalities within the urinary tract as it empties.

How to Prepare for Your CT IVP Procedure

Your physician will give you detailed instructions on how to get ready for your IVP exam.

Generally, you should avoid eating or drinking after midnight on the night before the procedure is scheduled. In some cases, you will also get a mild laxative to take the night before the exam.

On the day of the procedure, you should wear loose, comfortable clothes that you can change out of easily. You should avoid wearing metal accessories.

Before the procedure, let your physician know if you are currently taking any medications. You will also need to inform the physician of any allergies, especially if you are allergic to any iodinated contrast materials that you are aware of. Let the doctor know of any recent illnesses or conditions that might affect the results of the procedure.

Women should also inform the physician if there is any chance they may be pregnant on the day of the IVP radiology procedure.

Find Your Nearest Location for a CT IVP Scan

Our centers are conveniently located and our hours are flexible to make sure we can meet your specific needs.  To make an appointment for a CT IVP, find your nearest location starting with the regions below.