A voiding cystourethrogram is an x-ray study of the bladder and urethra. It is done while the bladder is emptying.
Cystourethrogram - voiding
How the Test is Performed
The test is performed in a hospital radiology department or in a health care provider's office.
You will lie on your back on the x-ray table. A thin, flexible tube called a catheter will be inserted into the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body) and passed into the bladder.
Contrast dye flows through the catheter into the bladder. This dye helps the bladder show up better on x-ray images.
The x-rays are taken from various angles while the bladder is full of contrast dye. The catheter is removed so that you can urinate. Images are taken while you empty your bladder.
How to Prepare for the Test
You must sign a consent form. You will be given a gown to wear.
Remove all jewelry before the test. Inform the provider if you are:
How the Test will Feel
You may feel some discomfort when the catheter is placed and while your bladder is full.
Why the Test is Performed
This test may be done to diagnose the cause of urinary tract infections, especially in children who have had more than one urinary tract or bladder infection.
It is also used to diagnose and evaluate:
The bladder and urethra will be normal in size and function.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Abnormal results may indicate the following:
You may have some discomfort when urinating after this test because of irritation from the catheter.
You may have bladder spasms after this test, which may be a sign of an allergic reaction to the contrast dye. Contact your provider if bothersome bladder spasms occur.
You may see blood in your urine for a couple of days after this test.
Bellah RD, Tao TY. Pediatric genitourinary radiology. In: Torigian DA, Ramchandani P, eds. Radiology Secrets Plus. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2017:chap 88.
Bishoff JT, Rastinehad AR. Urinary tract imaging: basic principles of computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and plain film. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 2.
Elder JS. Vesicoureteral reflux. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 554.
Review Date: 1/31/2019
Reviewed By: Sovrin M. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.