Intravenous Urography (IVU) uses X-radiation to visualize the kidneys, ureters and bladder, i.e. the urinary tract. Previously called an IVP, this examination entails the injection of a special liquid called a contrast media which helps to visualize the anatomy and function of the urinary tract.
For this procedure, the radiographer will position you on the x-ray table and take an initial image. Next, the contrast media will be injected slowly into a vein.
Your arm may feel cool and you may experience a flushed feeling as well as a metallic taste in your mouth during the injection. A series of radiographs will be taken over approximately the next 30 minutes; each image is reviewed by the attending radiologist.
All IVU examinations are performed only after obtaining an appointment. Your doctor creates an electronic order and the booking clerk will provide you with an appropriate appointment and with instructions regarding the procedure and how to prepare for it.
Q: How long does it take to perform an IVU examination?
A: Most IVU examinations require approximately one hour to be completed.
- Preparation for an IVU examination and safety precautions:
Since a contrast substance will be used in your examination, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything (except water) for several hours beforehand. You may also be asked to take a mild laxative (in either pill or liquid form) the evening before the procedure.
Please note: you should take prescribed medication as usual – drinking water is allowed.
You should inform the radiographer and attending nurse if you have any allergies, or if you are taking any medications, especially medication for diabetes.
Also inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions, and if you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid problems. Any of these conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect.
You will be asked to complete the IV Contrast Questionnaire. This is a screening form to determine conditions that may present a health risk during an IVU.
You will also be asked to fill in a consent form for the IVU procedure.
You will need to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined. You will be asked to wear a gown and empty your bladder before the procedure.
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Patients: Women must inform their physician and x-ray radiographer if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
You will be given a special liquid (contrast agent) during the IVU procedure (the attending radiologist will inform you of this). The injected contrast agent typically takes 24 hours to be cleared from the body. Therefore, for breastfeeding patients, before your IVU examination, it may be advisable to express and store sufficient breast milk to feed your baby for the 24 hours following the interventional scan. You may restart breast feeding after the 24 hours.
Q: How can I get the results of my examination?
A: The results of your examination will be communicated to your doctor.