Retrograde pyelography uses a contrast dye to get detailed X-ray pictures of the upper urinary tract. For this, dye is injected into the ureter. This helps create pictures of the ureter and the kidney collecting system. It is used when IVP does not provide a clear enough view. It also is used with cystoscopy to evaluate for hematuria (blood in urine) or cancer.
This test helps your doctor diagnose blockages in the urinary system. It is used to find stones or tumors.
A patient is first given anesthesia. Then a catheter is placed through the patient's urethra, bladder and ureter. This is how dye is injected. A fluoroscope is then used to magnify details. It takes real-time X-ray images on a special fluorescent screen.
The pyelography exam is generally safe, with few reactions. This is because the contrast dye is not in the blood stream, only the ureter. A urinary tract infection can occur after this test, and might need treatment.
For more information please visit our UrologyHealth.org article on retrograde pyelography.