Retrograde cystography

What is Retrograde Cystography?

Retrograde cystography is an x-ray imaging procedure used to examine the shape, size, and position of the urinary bladder. It can also help diagnose any changes in the walls of the bladder such as, the presence of cysts or tumors. It can also be used to check for any defects or scarring in the bladder's walls that may lead to urinary incontinence.

Preparation for Retrograde Cystography?

Before a retrograde cystography, the doctor may ask you to have a few tests done such as a general urine test and an imaging scan such as an ultrasound or CT scan. This will help your doctor identify any existing medical conditions that may affect the procedure or the accuracy of the results. Your doctor may also ask you to empty your bladder before the procedure. In some cases, you may be asked to drink a large amount of water before the procedure to help fill your bladder with fluids.


During a retrograde cystography, a contrast dye is injected into your bladder via a catheter. This catheter is inserted through your urethra. Once the dye has been injected, a series of x-ray images are taken of the bladder.

Types of Retrograde Cystography

There are two types of retrograde cystography:
  • Simple Retrograde Cystography
  • Urethrogram Retrograde Cystography
Simple retrograde cystography is the most common type of procedure. It is used to identify any problems in the bladder such as, a bladder infection, scarring, obstructions, and tumors. Urethrogram retrograde cystography is used to check for any defects or narrowing of the urethra.

Risks of Retrograde Cystography

The procedure is generally safe with few risks. However, there are a few risks associated with the procedure. These include:
  • Allergic reactions to the contrast dye
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to the urethra or bladder
If you experience any symptoms such as fever, pain, vomiting, or difficulty urinating after the procedure, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Why Is Retrograde Cystography Performed?

Retrograde cystography is typically performed to identify or diagnose bladder problems. It can also be used to diagnose bladder cancer, scarring in the bladder, and blockages.

When Is Retrograde Cystography Performed?

Retrograde cystography is usually performed when:
  • You are experiencing symptoms such as frequent urination, a burning sensation when urinating, or blood in your urine.
  • You have been diagnosed with bladder cancer or another bladder disorder.
  • Your doctor suspects you have a bladder infection or obstruction.
  • You have unexplained changes in your urination or urine tests.
Your doctor may also recommend a retrograde cystography if you have a urinary tract infection that is not responding to other treatments.