X-ray of the kidneys (IVP)
- Prior appointment: required
- Duration of the investigationr: about 45 minutes
- Preparation: required
- Contrast medium:: YES (containing iodine)
An X-ray of the kidney (IVP or intravenous pyelography) shows, with the aid of contrast medium, the kidneys and the urinary tract. This investigation is used, for instance, in cases of suspected renal colic, suspected kidney stones, blood in urine, as well as suspected inflammatory or malignant disease. Thus, in contrast to other investigations such as ultrasound of the kidneys, this investigation permits the examiner to assess kidney function (excretion) as well.
Course of the investigation:
The first step is an X-ray of the kidneys without contrast medium to determine whether the investigation can be performed and also in order to detect any stones.
As the next step, usually contrast medium is injected into an arm vein. Contrast medium is transported through the bloodstream to the kidney, and then eliminated by the urinary pathway. To evaluate this process, several X-ray images are taken at specific intervals. The investigation usually takes about 30 minutes, but it may be necessary to take delayed images in rare cases. After the investigation the patient is permitted to ingest food and take beverages as usual.