What are the Risks?

The main risk of an IVP test is a reaction to the dye. Such reactions are not common. Reactions occur in anywhere from 3 to 13 out of 100 people having an IVP. In general, reactions are minor, and consist of:

  • Feeling flushed (a sudden, temporary reddening of the face, neck or chest)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

These are often treated with antihistamines (drugs that reduce the histamines in your body from an allergic reaction).

In very rare cases, more severe reactions can occur. These can include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Low blood pressure
  • Swelling of the mouth or throat
  • Cardiac arrest

Risk Factors

Some people are more likely to react badly to the dye than others. Some risk factors include:

  • History of allergic reactions (such as hay fever, asthma or hives)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes

In these cases, you may be given antihistamines or steroids before the exam. This will reduce a reaction to the x-ray dye. Also, the use of a "non-ionic contrast agent" may have a lower risk of allergic response.