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Retrograde Pyelogram for Kidney Stones

Overview

The retrograde pyelogram uses a dye to find out 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.

Why It Is Done

You may have a retrograde pyelogram if:

Pregnant women normally do not have this test, because the X-rays may harm the unborn baby.

Results

Normal

The kidneys, ureters, and bladder appear normal.

Abnormal

The flow of the dye (contrast material) is blocked, either by a stone or another urinary problem.

Credits

Current as of: September 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Caroline S. Rhoads MD - Internal Medicine