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Intravenous Pyelogram
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Intravenous Pyelogram Overview

Written by FoundHealth.


An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is a test that evaluates problems in the urinary tract. It is done with contrast dye and x-rays .

The Male Urinary System
The Male Urinary System
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

What to Expect

Prior to test

Leading up to the test:

  • You will need to have kidney function tests.
  • The day before the test, you may be asked to use laxatives and possibly enemas to clean out your gut. This is because stool in the intestines may make it harder to read the x-ray pictures.
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight.

Description of the Test

An IV line will be inserted. This will provide the contrast dye and any medicine that you will need. For the next 30-60 minutes, you will lie on a table while x-rays are taken at regular intervals. You may be asked to hold your breath each time an x-ray is taken. The dye will highlight your urinary system on the x-ray. This will allow your doctor to see these body parts at work and detect problems. Before the last x-ray, you will empty your bladder in a bathroom.

After Test

You will be able to resume your normal activities and diet. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .

How Long Will It Take?

About 60-90 minutes

Will It Hurt?

No. You may feel a sensation of warmth or heat as the contrast dye travels through your body.


It may take a few days to receive your test results. Your doctor will discuss the results with you, as well as any treatment.



American Urological Association

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse


Health Canada

Kidney Foundation of Canada
Northern Alberta


Guide to diagnostic tests. Harvard Health Publications website. Available at: . Accessed October 20, 2009.

Intravenous pyelogram. Radiology Info website. Available at: . Updated June 2009. Accessed October 20, 2009.



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