Intravenous Urography

The standard method of upper urinary tract imaging is intravenous urography (IVU), also known as intravenous pyelography (IVP). It is widely available, has a low cost, and can detect upper tract urothelial tumors and renal calculi. However, it cannot distinguish solid from cystic masses. Thus, ultrasound studies are often required to evaluate abnormal findings. Ultrasound and IVU are limited in their ability to detect small renal masses, particularly those smaller than 3 cm. Further, IVU is only 52% to 59% sensitive for detecting renal calculi (Grossfeld et al., 2001b). IVU also requires administering radiographic contrast.

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