The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
Diagnostic Tests - Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)
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What happens when the test is performed?

  • You need to have an IV (intravenous) line placed in a vein in your arm or hand. In the x-ray department, you lie on your back on a table and an x-ray camera takes some initial pictures from above. X-ray dye is injected through the IV. You might feel some warm tingling in your arm when the dye is injected. During the next 30-60 minutes, a new x-ray is taken every few minutes. These x-rays show the dye in different stages as it moves through your kidneys and ureters and into your bladder. Each time an x-ray is taken, you are asked to hold your breath. Before the last x-ray, you are sent to a bathroom to empty your bladder.

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