Intravenous pyelography (IVP), or intravenous urography, is a diagnostic test that involves the administration of intravenous contrast and X-ray imaging of the urinary tract. The iodinated contrast flows through the renal vasculature and filtered into the collecting system highlighting the anatomic structures on the X-ray image. It is often useful for the evaluation of hematuria, and renal stone disease, and as a follow-up after the intervention. The urographic imaging sequence is designed to depict specific parts of the urinary tract optimally. Portions of the urinary system appear opaque when filled with contrast material. Accurate conclusions from the IVP are feasible only when the technique, limitations, and basic rules of interpretation are known.
Fritz Voelcker and Alexander von Lichtenberg introduced retrograde ureteral catheterization in 1906 for visualization of the urinary tract. This technique produced variable results and was seldom successful. In 1923, Osborne and colleagues devised intravenous pyelography for visualizing the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. This procedure was more practical, simpler, and safer. An intravenous method for visualizing the upper urinary tract was a substantial contribution to the field of medicine.
In modern times, ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are commonly used for the evaluation of urinary tract diseases owing to the limitations of intravenous pyelography.