Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

What is Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)?

Intravenous pyelogram, or IVP for short, is a type of X-ray imaging procedure that uses contrast-enhanced X-rays and an injectable dye to visualize the urinary tract and the kidneys. It is used to diagnose any potential diseases or abnormalities of the urinary system such as kidney stones, infections, cysts, and obstructive uropathy.

Why is Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) needed?

IVP is needed when other more common tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI are unable to produce detailed images of the urinary system. Apart from that, IVP is also used to detect any blockage in the urinary tract that could be caused by a tumor, enlarged prostate, kidney stones, or, an infection.

When is Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) necessary?

IVP is used when a person is experiencing symptoms such as pain in the side or abdomen, blood in the urine, frequent urination, or unexplained weight loss. These symptoms may be signs of a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or even cancer. It is also used in cases where a physical exam or other imaging studies are unable to provide clear results.

Preparations for Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

Before an IVP is performed, a patient will likely need to fast for at least four hours prior to the procedure and refrain from taking any medications containing aspirin. The patient will also need to drink plenty of fluids afterward to flush out any dye still present in the body.

Procedure of Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

During an IVP, the patient will be asked to lie down on an X-ray table and will receive an injection of dye into a vein in the arm. The X-ray technician will then take images while the dye is making its way through the urinary system. The procedure usually takes 10 to 20 minutes.

Types of Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

There are two main types of Ivp: an Excretory Urogram and an Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP). In an Excretory Urogram, the contrast dye is injected directly into the renal artery before the images are taken (this procedure is also known as an Intra-arterial Pyelogram). In an IVP, the contrast dye is injected into a vein in the arm and then enters the kidneys via the bloodstream.

Risks of Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

IVP is generally considered a safe procedure, as the amount of contrast dye used is relatively small. However, there is a risk of allergic reactions to the dye, as well as adverse reactions such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches. In rare cases, complications such as severe allergic reactions or kidney damage can occur.


Intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an imaging procedure used to visualize the urinary system. It uses contrast-enhanced X-rays and an injectable dye to produce detailed images of the kidneys, ureters and bladder. Although the procedure is generally safe, there is a risk of allergic reactions or other adverse reactions. Patients should discuss any possible risks or concerns with their doctor prior to the procedure.