Pediatric voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) patient guide
Long version of this guide (PDF)
A voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) is an x-ray examination of a child's bladder and lower urinary tract that uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material to obtain diagnostic images to detect abnormalities in the flow of urine through the urinary tract. This examination is often recommended after a urinary tract infection to check for a condition known as vesicoureteral (VU) reflux. Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) images provide valuable, detailed information to assist physicians in diagnosing and treating urinary tract conditions to prevent kidney damage.
This examination is usually done on an outpatient basis and is usually completed within 30 minutes. The technologist begins by positioning the child on the table and several x-rays are taken of the bladder. After cleaning the genital area, a catheter is inserted through the urethra into the bladder, which is filled with a water-soluble contrast material. The catheter is then withdrawn. The radiologist will watch the fluoroscopic monitor while the bladder is filling to see if any of the liquid goes backward into one or both ureters. Several x-ray images of the bladder and urethra are then taken as the child empties his or her bladder. A final x-ray is taken when the child has voided completely.
Community Hospital North offers sedation for our pediatric patients prior to their voiding cystourethrogram procedure. The sedation process is completed within the hospital's pediatric department. The pediatric patient is given oral Midazolam (Versed) and then brought over to the Imaging department to complete the procedure. The patient is monitored throughout the entire process by a registered nurse (R.N.). After the procedure is complete the patient is escorted back to the pediatric department for additional monitoring until the pediatric department feels the patient is safe to leave the facility.