Intravenous Pyelogram

An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) is an X-ray of the kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder that uses iodinated contrast material injected into veins.

The intravenous pyelogram helps your doctor assess abnormalities in the urinary system, as well as how quickly and efficiently your system handles waste. It also is used to diagnose symptoms such as blood in the urine or pain in the side or lower back.

An IVP exam helps detect problems within the urinary tract resulting from:

  • Kidney stones
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Tumors in the kidney, ureters or urinary bladder

Limitations of an IVP

An IVP shows details of the inside of the urinary tract including the kidneys, ureters and bladder. Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may add valuable information about the functioning tissue of the kidneys and surrounding structures nearby the kidneys, ureters and bladder.

IVP studies are not usually indicated for pregnant women.