Intravenous Pyelography

ExitCare ImageIntravenous pyelography (IVP) is an X-ray exam to evaluate the function of the entire urinary tract. This includes the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. An IVP exam can help find problems such as kidney stones, bladder stones, an enlarged prostate, or tumors.


  • Allergies to food or medicine.

  • If you are taking metformin or other diabetes medicines. You may need to temporarily stop taking these medicines before the exam.

  • Other health problems, especially diabetes and kidney problems.

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.


  • Nausea.

  • Allergic reaction to the dye used during the exam. In rare cases, this can be life-threatening.


  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before your exam, or as directed by your caregiver.

  • Ask your caregiver if it is okay to take any needed medicines with a sip of water.

  • Your caregiver may suggest that you take a laxative medicine the night before your exam.


This exam usually takes about 1 hour. During the exam:

  • You will wear a hospital gown and will lie on an exam table.

  • A contrast dye will be injected through an intravenous line (IV). The dye helps your caregiver see your kidneys and urinary tract better on the X-rays. You may feel warm or have a strange taste in your mouth when the dye enters your body. This feeling does not last long.

  • Pressure may be applied to your abdomen in order to get better pictures.

  • You may be asked to empty your bladder before the final X-ray is taken.

The exam is done when all the needed pictures have been taken.


  • You can safely drive home and return to regular activities immediately after the exam.

  • Ask when your test results will be ready. Make sure you get your test results.