What are the different ways to image the kidneys?Ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, IVP (Intravenous Pyelogram), Renal scan, Renal Arteriogram are some of the commonly used methods to image the kidneys.
What are the uses of imaging studies of the kidney?
- Study location and size of the kidneys.
- To identify presence and the size of obstruction.
- To visualize blood supply to the kidneys.
- To detect and to characterize any malformations such as cysts, tumors.
What is IVP?VP is called as intravenous pyelogram. It involves the intravenous injection of iodinated contrast material which is filtered at the glomerulus, gets concentrated within the tubules and it is finally excreted into the uterus and finally through the bladder into the urine. X –rays are taken at different time intervals from the injection of the dye. The dye usually appears from 1 to 3 minutes after the contrast material is injected. It provides an opportunity to determine the number of kidneys, their size, their configuration and if there are any filling defects. The second phase occurs between 5 minutes and it allows visualization of the ureters and the bladder.
IVP exposes one to radiation and therefore not advised in pregnant women or in very young children In addition the radio contrast can be a toxin to the kidney and specially in some people who already have some kidney of renal impairment.