X-ray study of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. The x-rays are taken after a dye is injected into a blood vessel. The dye is concentrated in the urine, which outlines the kidneys, ureters, and bladder on the x-rays. Also called intravenous pyelogram and IVP.
An x-ray examination specifically designed to study the kidneys, bladder, and ureters (the tubes carrying urine from the kidneys to the bladder). After an iodine-based contrast dye is injected into a vein, a series of images are taken at timed intervals. The kidneys will remove the contrast dye from the blood and collect it in urine. Abnormalities in the appearance of the kidneys or ureters, in distribution of contrast within a kidney, unequal amounts of dye in each kidney, or in the collecting systems can be identified. The procedure helps evaluate the bladder and the kidneys for infections, blood in the urine, flank pain (possible kidney stones), and tumors; as well as evaluating the urinary tract for damage after an abdominal injury. Computed tomography (CT) has replaced IVP as the primary tool for evaluation of the urinary system, because they can be rapidly performed, use less contrast solution, and provide additional imaging of the abdomen which may reveal other potential sources for the patient's symptoms. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is also being used to look at the kidneys, ureters and bladder; having the advantage of using no radiation.