Your Radiologist Explains Pediatric Voiding Cystourethrogram
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Hello, I’m Dr. Cynthia Rigsby, a pediatric radiologist at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. I’d like to talk with you about pediatric voiding cysto-urethro-gram or V-C-U-G.
A V-C-U-G uses a form of real-time x-ray called fluoroscopy to evaluate the anatomy and function of your child’s bladder and lower urinary tract. It’s commonly used after a urinary tract infection to check for a condition called reflux in which urine flows backward from the bladder towards the kidneys. Most children with reflux are born with it, but it may also be caused by certain bladder conditions.
During the exam, a catheter will be inserted through your child’s urethra into the bladder and will be used to fill the bladder with contrast material. Your child will then be asked to urinate while x-ray images are captured to determine if any of the contrast material is flowing backward from the bladder towards the kidneys.
It’s important to explain to your child what will take place during the exam to avoid any confusion about what’s expected.
If your child is scheduled for a V-C-U-G, there are several things you can do to prepare.
First, inform the pediatrician about your child’s recent illnesses, medications and allergies, especially to contrast materials. Your child should wear loose, comfortable clothing and may be asked to wear a gown. Sedation is rarely needed so you will not need to withhold food or drink.
You may have some concerns about a V-C-U-G. However, it’s important to consider the likelihood of benefit to your child’s health. While a V-C-U-G does use radiation, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs any risk.
For more information about pediatric voiding cystourethrogram, visit Radiology Info dot org.