Intravenous pyelogram


Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

An Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) is a medical imaging procedure used to diagnose conditions of the kidneys, urinary tract, and bladder. It produces images by taking pictures of the urinary system soon after intravenous (IV) injection of a contrast material. This procedure is also knows as an Intravenous Urogram (IVU).


The patient will need to make a few preparations before the procedure takes place. First, the patient should tell their clinician about allergies they may have, medications they’re taking, and any family history of contrast dye reactions. Second, the patient should wear loose-fitting clothing with no metal fasteners. Patients may be asked to remove items of jewellery. A full bladder is required so the patient should drink plenty of water prior to the test.


The patient is asked to lay on a table and the clinician will inject contrast dye into a vein through an IV line. During the injection, the patient may experience a warm sensation. There is a small risk of an allergic reaction to the contrast dye, although it is very rare. Immediately after the injection, the clinician will take an X-ray of the abdomen or pelvis, and the urinary system will appear vivid and visible on the X-ray due to the dye.


  • Excretory IVP: This involves the use of an IV line to inject a contrast agent into the patient’s bloodstream. The agent is used to create clear images of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder.
  • Fistulogram: This is a specialized type of excretory IVP that focuses on identifying and studying abnormal areas of the urinary tract, such as an aneurysm or fistula.
  • Retrograde Pyelogram: This type of IVP is used to study the ureters. The contrast agent is inserted directly into the urethra and then moves up towards the kidneys.

Risk and Complications

Common side effects of intravenous pyelogram include feeling sick, vomiting, and a metallic taste in the mouth. Rare side effects of the procedure include allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, nausea, and difficulties breathing. In extremely rare cases, IVP can cause a changes in blood pressure, headache, and a rash on the skin.

Why and When it is Used

IVP is used to diagnose diseases and deformities of the urinary system. This procedure helps physicians to diagnose conditions such as kidney stones, blockages in the urinary tract, tumors, cysts, and congenital abnormalities. Due to its ability to help diagnose these conditions, IVP is often used to detect and monitor any abnormalities or diseases of the kidneys. It may also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for urinary tract diseases or disorders.