When Your Child Needs a Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)
When Your Child Needs a Voiding Cystourethrogram
Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) is a
test that uses X-rays to show the flow of urine through the urinary tract. It allows
healthcare provider to see how your child’s bladder functions. It also shows if urine
flowing backward into the kidneys or if another urinary problem is present.
Before the test
Help your child change into a
Remove your child’s jewelry
and glasses if they are worn.
Tell your child’s healthcare
provider and the technician giving the test if your child is allergic to medicine
or the contrast used for the test.
Tell the provider about any
conditions or illnesses your child has had recently.
During the test
The test lasts about 30
minutes. You may be allowed to be with your child during the test.
For the test, your child lies
on their back on an X-ray table. If your child is an infant or toddler, they may
be wrapped in a blanket or another restraint to keep them still during the
Several X-rays are taken. The
X-rays may be seen on a video screen.
The genital area is cleaned
with an antiseptic.
A thin, flexible tube called
a catheter is then gently put into the urethra. The urethra is the tube that
carries urine out of the body. This may cause some mild pain for a moment. The
catheter is then slowly passed into the bladder.
A special dye called contrast
is put into the catheter to fill the bladder. The contrast makes the bladder show
up clearly on the X-ray.
More X-rays are taken while
the bladder is filled with contrast.
The catheter is removed and
your child is asked to urinate. More X-rays are taken as the bladder empties.
After the test
Your child can get back to
normal activities after the test.
If your child was given
contrast, it will pass naturally within a day.
Have your child drink lots of
water to help the dye pass out of the body.
Sometimes children will
complain of having trouble or pain with urination after the test. Or you may see a
small amount of blood in the urine. This is due to irritation from the tube that
was placed in your child's urethra. If the symptoms are worsening or concerning
you at home, call your child's healthcare provider.
Getting your child’s results
Your child’s healthcare provider
will discuss the test results with you during a follow-up appointment or over the
You can talk about treatment options at this time if needed.
Online Medical Reviewer: Marc Greenstein MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed:
© 2000-2019 StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.