The retrograde pyelogram uses a dye to determine whether a kidney stone or something else is blocking your urinary tract. During the test, your doctor will insert a thin, lighted tube (cystoscope) into the urethra, which carries urine out of the body from the bladder. He or she will then put a catheter through the cystoscope and into a ureter, which carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. Dye is injected through the catheter and X-rays are taken.
You will probably need a local or regional anesthetic with this procedure.
Your doctor may do this test if an intravenous pyelogram (IVP) does not help with the diagnosis. In an IVP, the dye is injected through a vein in your arm.
You may have a retrograde pyelogram if:
Pregnant women normally do not have this test, because the X-rays may harm the unborn baby.
Findings of the retrograde pyelogram may include the following.
The kidneys, ureters, and bladder appear normal.
The flow of the dye (contrast material) is blocked, either by a stone or another urinary problem.
The retrograde pyelogram provides the same information as an intravenous pyelogram (IVP). However, the retrograde pyelogram can be used even if you are allergic to the dye. This test does not risk making existing kidney damage worse.
Unlike the IVP, the retrograde pyelogram requires an anesthetic and that a catheter be inserted into the urinary tract.
Last Revised: April 28, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
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