A voiding cystourethrogram is an x-ray examination of the bladder and urethra that is performed 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 by an x-ray technician.
You will lie on your back on the x-ray table. A thin, flexible tube called a catheter will be gently 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 health care provider if you are:
Allergic to any medications
Allergic to x-ray contrast material
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:
Difficulty emptying the bladder
Present at birth (congenital) problems with the bladder or urethra
Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surger, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.