University of Iowa Department of Radiology, Section of Pediatric Radiology
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
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An IVP (Intravenous Pyelogram) is an X-ray examination of the kidneys. After a plain film (without X-ray contrast) is obtained, the radiologist injects radio-opaque contrast in a vein. A film is obtained immediately to determine the actual size of the kidneys. After waiting between five and ten minutes, another film is taken to show the collecting system as it begins to empty. Ideally the kidneys, ureters and bladder are all visualized on this film. Sometimes, due to overlying gas or fecal matter in the bowel that obscures a portion of the collecting system, additional films are needed so that the radiologist can obtain as clear a view of the kidneys as possible. Some kidneys don't empty at the same rate and delayed films from thirty minutes to three or four hours may be requested.
Your child will be made as comfortable as possible. When x-raying infants and very young children the technologist must use restraints, usually consisting of sandbags, that do not hurt the child. Children will often become angry and cry when restrained, but the radiographs are completed in a very short time.
Please tell the technologist if you are aware of any allergies the child may have, particularly an allergy to the contrast. It is important to mention if the child has eaten or had any liquids four hours prior to the procedure.