What Is An IVU Test? What Is The Reason For A Kidney To Be Mildly Rotated?


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Julii Brainard answered
IVU=Intravenous program test.

It's a test for examining the entire urinary tract system: kidneys, bladder, ureters (all the connecting pipes). An IVU test is normally done to look for damage or malfunction. In practice, what it means is the patient drinks a potion with a mildly radioactive dye in it. This shows up well on X-rays. So the patient can be X-rayed subsequently to make sure that fluid is flowing through the urinary tract as it should, there are no blockages or hold-ups.

A radioactive dye may sound scary, but the X-rays themselves impose a higher radiation dose. And the benefits of undergoing an IVU test can far outweigh the small risks, given this test can detect problems and allow treatment to potentially life-threatening conditions before other symptoms manifest.

As to why a kidney might be rotated...Abnormalities in people's kidneys are fairly common, estimated to be present from birth in about 3% of people. My son and my mom both had kidney abnormalities which does/did not hinder their life in any way. Rotated kidneys are specifically more unusual, and less documented than other kidney oddities.

Implications: If surgery were ever required, a surgeon would want to know about the rotation. Also, relevant in terms of evaluation as a potential kidney donor. There is also an elevated risk of a rotated kidney not working as well as it should, but this question mark can be resolved with the IVU test.

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