Rebecca J. Stahl, MA
A cystogram uses contrast dye to create pictures of the:
A cystogram helps your doctor gain more information about the urinary system. For example, if you are having urine leakage, your doctor may be able to find the cause.
A cystogram can also be used to diagnose conditions like:
Problems from the test are rare. However, all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Talk to your doctor about these risks before the procedure.
There are no special steps to take before a cystogram. Nevertheless, it is important that you tell your doctor if you:
You will be asked to lie on a table. A catheter will be inserted into the urethra and positioned into the bladder. A contrast dye will travel through the catheter and into the bladder to fill it. When your bladder is full, x-rays will be taken of the ureters, bladder, and urethra. You will be asked to remain still while the images are taken. You may also need to move into different positions.
If your doctor needs to see how your urethra is functioning, you may be asked to urinate into a bedpan while x-rays are taken. Additional images may be needed after you have emptied your bladder.
When all the images have been taken, the catheter will be removed.
About 1 hour
You may have some discomfort when:
You will be able to go home after the test.
When you return home, take these steps:
You may notice a small amount of blood in your urine and have some discomfort during urination. These are common side effects after a cystogram. They will go away within a few hours.
Your doctor should have the results in a few days. Be sure to follow-up with your doctor.
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
If you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
Cystogram. Children’s Hospital of Chicago website. Available at:
http://luriechildrens.org/en-us/care-services/conditions-treatments/medical-imaging-radiology/Pages/basics/nuclear-medicine-scans/cystogram/cystogram.aspx. Accessed May 9, 2013.
Cystogram. Hurley Medical Center website. Available at:
http://hurleymc.com/services/services/radiology-services/diagnostic-radiology/fluoroscopy/cystogram. Accessed May 9, 2013.
Cystogram. PeaceHealth website. Available at:
http://www.peacehealth.org/peace-harbor/services/imaging-services/radiology/Pages/cystogram.aspx. Accessed May 9, 2013.
Cystogram or voiding cystogram (VCUG). Conemaugh Health System website. Available at:
http://www.conemaugh.org/template_article.aspx?id=8210. Accessed May 9, 2013.
Radionuclide cystogram. American Urological Association website. Available at:
http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=81. Updated January 2011. Accessed May 9, 2013.
Schedule test: cystogram, voiding cystouretrhrogram or incontinence cystogram. PennMedicine website. Available at:
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/radiology/patient/docs/Cystogram.pdf. Accessed May 9, 2013.
Your urinary system and how it works. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC) website. Available at:
http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/Yoururinary. Updated June 29, 2012. Accessed May 9, 2013.
Last reviewed May 2013 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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