Tests can identify kidney stones, tumors and other conditions
Blood in the urine, known as hemturia, is often the sign of a kidney- or bladder-related disease or disorder. Traditionally, patients diagnosed with this condition underwent an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a type of X-ray that looks at the two organs and the ducts (ureters) that connect them
However, the IVP test isn't sensitive enough to detect all types of kidney stones or other kidney masses. In these instances, CT (computed tomography) is widely accepted by medical professionals as being superior. It captures detailed images of not only the kidneys and bladder, but of nearby bones, soft tissues and blood vessels
However, IVP has been considered to be better than CT in detecting abnormalities of the renal collecting systems and ureters.
There is a newer technology that some experts believe will replace the IVP. With the advent of the multi-detector CT, high-resolution 3D images of the collecting systems and ureters can be obtained. At Main Street Radiology, our hematuria protocol involves images from a 3D CT urogram, as well as traditional high-resolution CT images of the kidneys.
What to Expect
During a CT urogram, an X-ray dye (iodine contrast solution) is injected into a vein in your hand or arm. The dye flows into your kidneys, ureters and bladder, outlining each of these body parts.
X-ray pictures are taken at specific times during the exam, allowing your doctor can clearly see your urinary tract and look for any abnormalities. In addition to kidney stones, CT urograms can help reveal cysts, tumors, infections or structural abnormalities.