What is Cystography?

It is an X-ray diagnostic test to examine the bladder. When performing Cystography, contrast medium is injected into the bladder and X-rays are taken. It is conducted with an external device producing X-rays, which penetrate the body, and the organs are depicted upon a special film.

When is Cystography performed?

Your physician may order Cystography when the following conditions occur:

  • Urinary incontinence and disorders of bladder emptying.
  • Injuries with suspected bladder trauma.
  • Suspicion of urine reflux from bladder to kidneys.

To evaluate urethral problems, in combination with a Urethrogram (e.g. urethral stricture).

What preparation is needed for Cystography ?

If there are no other health problems, no special preparation is needed. However, your physician should be fully informed:

  • if you have any allergies or sensitivity to medications, contrast media, iodine or anaesthetic agents.
  • if you suffer from renal failure
  • if you have a urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • if you suffer from a disease/disorder affecting blood coagulation or you take anticoagulants.  Your physician may ask you to interrupt taking them before the procedure.

There are some contra-indications for undergoing Cystography, such as:

  • recent surgical bladder operation
  • urethral obstruction of injury
  • acute urinary tract infection

 You should be aware that some agents or conditions may affect cystography results, such as:

  • Barium  in the intestines from a recent Barium enema.
  • Large amounts of gases or stool in the bowel.

Cystography uses radiation.  In case of pregnancy, you should promptly inform your physician.

How is Cystography performed?

You may need to have a KUB X-ray (Kidney-Ureter-Bladder) either as an outpatient or as a hospital inpatient. Your physician will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may potentially have.The procedure is as follows:

  • You will be asked to get undressed from your waist down and liein supine position (on your back) on a special radiology bed.
  • A device producing X-rays will be placed in front of your abdomen, while a special tape containing a film will be placed in a special sheath behind your back.
  • A urinary catheter will be inserted into your bladder. Contrast medium will be infused through the catheter and then the catheter opening will be closed with a cap.
  • The lab technologist will stand behind a special protective partition and take some X-rays while the examination be will be moving.
  • Then, the catheter will be removed and you will be given a urine collecting container.  When asked, you will have to urinate into the container and at the same time X-rays will be taken.
  • If you do not manage to urinate, a catheter will be placed again to have the bladder emptied.
  • When the procedure is completed, you can get dressed and leave the lab.

No special care is needed after Cystography.  You should be aware that:

  • Placing the urocatheter may cause some bleeding from the uretra.
  • In the next urinations, you may feel mild pain and observe some pink color in the urine for the next one or two days.

You should inform your physician in case you experience:

  • Fever with shivering
  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe bleeding
  • Low urine output

How are the results of Cystography interpreted?

If there is any pathological finding, you will be informed by your physician about this. You will be provided with additional instructions and information about the therapeutic options that are appropriate for you.  Should there be any doubt, your physician will recommend you to undergo more specific screening (Cystoscopy, Urodynamic Testing etc).