Intravenous Urography (IVU)
Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP)
A Guide for Patients
Your doctor has ordered an Intravenous Urogram (IVU) or Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) for you.
This handout helps you prepare for the test.
Tell your primary doctor before you are
scheduled if you
Have not had a blood creatinine
(kidney function) test
May be pregnant
Are breast feeding
Have an allergy to iodine contrast
(also used for CT scans, angiograms,
Have many food or medicine
Have heart or lung problems
Are taking Glucovance or Metformin
(Glucophage ) for diabetes
Have been diagnosed with renal
Are being treated with interleukin-2
Have been diagnosed with
myasthenia gravis, multiple
myeloma, paroxysmal nocturnal
hemoglobinuria, sickle cell disease,
If you have any of the above, you may
need special medicine or care before the test.
Another test may be done in place of the
What is an IVU/IVP?
An IVU/IVP is an x-ray exam of the
kidneys, ureters, and bladder. An iodine
liquid contrast is given through a vein. This
contrast shows up on x-rays when it reaches
the kidneys. The kidneys get rid of (excrete)
the contrast into the ureters that drain into
the bladder. This test is done to check
patients with problems such as blood in the
urine, stones, obstruction, developmental
problems, and as a check before some
In order to prevent bowel contents from
blocking the view of the kidneys, you will be
asked to do a bowel prep the night before.
This will help to improve the quality of the
What is Iodinated Contrast?
Iodine is seen on x-rays (radiopaque). A
temporary IV will be placed prior to the
exam to inject contrast. Iodinated contrast
dye is injected into the arteries or veins to
show different parts of the body with x-rays.
This contrast will pass through the kidneys
within 24 hours. Adverse reactions to
contrast can sometimes occur. Severe
reactions to the type of contrast used at
UWHC occur at a rate of 4 in 10,000. Very
severe reactions occur at a rate of 1 in
An elective x-ray exam should not be
performed if there is a chance of pregnancy.
A small amount of contrast agent will be
excreted in breast milk. Some women prefer
to discard breast milk for 24 hours after
receiving IV contrast, but the small amount
that the baby would receive should not cause
Before you come in
The night before your IVU/IVP
Drink 10 ounces of magnesium citrate
between 4 and 6 p.m. unless your doctor
tells you otherwise. Do not eat or drink
anything after midnight.
The morning of your IVU/IVP
Do not eat or drink. You may take needed
medicines with a sip of water. If you take
insulin, talk with your doctor.
Go to the Outpatient X-ray Department,
G3/3, at _____________ on
During the IVU/IVP
You will be asked to lie on a table for about
60 minutes. “Scout (preliminary) films” will
be taken before the x-ray contrast is given.
If you are allergic to iodine, please tell the
staff. For a short time after the injection,
you may feel warm or have a metallic taste
in your mouth. Let the x-ray tech know of
any discomfort. Often a cloth compression
band will be placed across your lower
abdomen to help keep the contrast in the
As pictures are taken, they will be reviewed
by a radiologist. More films may be taken,
if needed. You may be asked to return for
After the IVU/IVP
You may eat after the exam. Drink plenty of
fluids. You will be able to resume your
normal daily routines after the IVU/IVP. If
you are diabetic and taking Glucovance or
Metformin (Glucophage) these drugs should
be withheld for 48 hours after the exam.
If you have any questions or concerns,
please call (608) 263-8351 between the
hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 7/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4337.