Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is a series of special x-rays used to examine your kidneys, bladder, and ureters (the tubes leading from your kidneys to your bladder). An IVP helps your doctor evaluate the structure and function of these organs.

How do I prepare for the test?

The following are general guidelines. You will receive more specific instructions from your
doctor, nurse, or testing center.



Please check with your doctor or testing center for instructions. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about taking your routine medication.


Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your test. If your doctor or testing center has told you to take your routine medication, you may take it with small sips of water only.

You may be asked to take a liquid preparation and bowel preparation before coming to the testing center.

Inform your testing center if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Please bring:

  • A prescription slip from your doctor
  • Insurance forms and/or referrals
  • A list of your medications (special Glucophage instructions)
  • A list of food, latex, or medication allergies Be sure to let the nurse or technologist know if you have had a previous allergic reaction to contrast dye, any allergies to iodine or shellfish, or if you have asthma.

What will happen during the test?

If you are pregnant, think you might be, or if you are breastfeeding, tell the technologist and/or doctor who is performing your test. First, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown and remove any metal objects that might block the x-ray pictures of your body. You will then lie down on an x-ray table and will receive a contrast dye through an intravenous (IV) line inserted in your arm. You should report nausea, shortness of breath, sneezing, itchiness, or any unusual sensation to the nurse or technologist.


The technologist will ask you to hold your breath when he or she is taking an x-ray. This will help you stay still, so that motion does not blur your x-ray.

The x-ray machine will make loud, crackling noises during the test. A technologist will help you get into different positions. A compression belt may be placed around your abdomen for some x-rays. The compression belt keeps the contrast dye in your kidneys and ureters. This allows the radiologist to see these organs more clearly.

After the x-rays have been taken, the technologist will help you to the bathroom to empty your bladder. One final x-ray will be taken. The entire IVP series will take approximately 45 minutes.

What will happen after the test?

You will be asked to drink plenty of liquids.

How and when will I get the results of my test?

Your doctor will discuss the results of your test with you. Please talk with your doctor and/or testing center about how to get the results of your test.

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