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Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) is an x-ray examination of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder that uses intravenous contrast material.

Who performs the procedure?

The procedure is performed by a Technologist with the assistance of a Radiologist.

Why is this procedure performed?

This procedure is performed to help the Radiologist assess abnormalities in the urinary system, as well as how quickly and efficiently the patient's system is able to handle waste.

Where is the procedure performed?

University Imaging Center
University of Maryland Professional Building, Suite 110
419 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

University of Maryland Medical Center
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, 2nd Floor
22 South Greene Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Is there any prep for this procedure?

Obtain Fleet Prep Kit (# 1) from your drug store or pharmacy. Follow the enclosed instructions for the 18-hour prep with one exception -- you may have a light evening meal (no dairy products). Clear juice or water is allowed up to one hour before the exam.

What can I expect before the procedure?

Once you arrive at the Imaging Center, you will have to register at the front desk. Please have your insurance information ready at this time. After registration, you will be taken to the Fluoroscopy department where you will be instructed to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined.

What can I expect during the procedure?

The patient is positioned on the table and x-ray image is taken. The contrast material is then injected, usually into a vein in the patient's arm, followed by additional still images.

During the imaging process, you may be asked to turn from side to side and to hold several different positions to enable the Technologist to capture views from several angles.

You will feel a minor sting as the iodine is injected into your arm. Some patients experience a flush of warmth, a mild itching sensation and a metallic taste in their mouth as the iodine begins to circulate throughout their body. These common side effects usually disappear within a minute or two and are harmless. Itching that persists or is accompanied by hives, can be easily treated with medication. In rare cases, a patient may become short of breath or experience swelling in the throat or other parts of the body. These can be indications of a more serious reaction contrast material that should be treated promptly.

The patient must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. As the contrast material is processed by the kidneys a series of images is taken to determine the actual size of the kidneys and to capture the urinary tract in action as it begins to empty. At the end, you may be asked to empty your bladder so that an additional x-ray can be taken of your urinary bladder after it empties.

What can I expect after the procedure?

The contrast material used for IVP studies will not discolor your urine or cause any discomfort when you urinate. If you experience such symptoms after your IVP exam, you should let your doctor know. You will be able to resume normal activity and the results from the procedure will be sent to your doctor.

Are there any risks to this procedure?

There is a very low risk that one may have from the exposure to radiation.

Are there any alternatives to this procedure?

No alternatives are available for this procedure.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Please call the Radiology Access Center at 410-328-3225.