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Common Urology Tests

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When a child is having bladder or urinary tract problems, their parents want answers. Urology Services at Arkansas Children’s offers comprehensive testing designed to provide families with as much information as possible. A Child Life Specialist can work with patients having radiology studies. Common tests and procedures include:

Urine Test

Patients with urinary complaints might have to give a urine specimen for testing. The patient will void in a cup during the clinic visit. Please ensure that the patient has a full bladder when arriving at the clinic and ask for a specimen cup as needed if the child needs to urinate before his/her appointment.

VCUG (voiding cystourethrogram)

Voiding cystourethrogram is a bladder test that is done by placing a small tube in the bladder through the urethra. The bladder is filled with an X-ray dye while pictures are taken with a fluoroscopy. A radiologist determines if the solution is going back up into the kidneys. This test is commonly done in evaluating a variety of conditions involving the urinary tract.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a non-invasive test that allows visualization of the bladder and kidneys. Sound waves are sent through the patient's body and the results give 2D images of the urinary tract and genitalia. This test takes about 20 minutes.

Post Void Residual (PVR)

This is a quick scan of the bladder right after the patient has emptied the bladder. This test is used to show if there is urine remaining in the bladder. This test is usually performed in the exam room in the clinic.

Uroflow

This study uses a special toilet to determine the flow rate of your urine during voiding. This test is sometimes done to look for the cause of incomplete bladder emptying, slow stream, burning with urination, bladder pain, or other symptoms.

The child needs a full bladder at the beginning of the appointment. After completing the Uroflow, a scan of the bladder will be done to see if urine is left in the bladder.

Urodynamic Testing

These studies are used to assess how the bladder and urethra are performing their job of storing and releasing urine. Urodynamic tests help your doctor see how well your bladder and sphincter muscles work.

  • Cytometric test monitors how the pressure builds up in the bladder as it fills with urine; the amount of urine the bladder can hold; and at what point you feel the urge to urinate.
  • Electromyography is included in the cytometric testing if nerve or muscle damage is suspected. Sensors are placed on the skin to measure electrical current created when the pelvic floor muscles contract.
  • Video urodynamic test combine cystometry and cystography into a single test. Pictures and videos of the bladder during filling and emptying are taken. This test shows the size and shape of the bladder and provides useful information about the function of the bladder and urethra.

After urodynamic tests, there might be mild discomfort with urination for a few hours. You may also experience a small amount of blood in the urine due to the catheter. Drinking (16) ounces of water every hour for 2 hours may help with symptoms. Taking a warm bath or holding a warm, damp washcloth over the urethral opening may be recommended by your healthcare provider. If any symptoms of infection are noticed such as fever, chills, or pain, call your healthcare provider.

Tests results are available after the tests are completed and will be discussed with you when you see your provider.

DMSA Scan

This test is a nuclear medicine test used to determine kidney function. A special tracer (Dimercapto succinic acid) is injected through an IV and when it goes through the kidneys they light up and pictures are taken with a special camera. The results of this test show area of kidney infection or kidney damage. This test takes about one hour after the tracer is absorbed by the kidneys.

Renogram

This is a nuclear medicine test similar to a DMSA scan, except it also allows us to determine if there is any blockage. The tracer is put into the urine and can be followed as it goes down into the bladder. In patients who have any blockage or obstruction in the urinary tract, the test shows that the tracer does not drain. This test can take up to an hour and a half.

Kidney, Ureters, and Bladder (KUB) X-Ray

This is a simple x-ray of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. This test is usually done to find kidney stones or severe constipation.

Computerized Tomography (CT)

A CT scan, also known as a CAT scan, is used to examine the kidneys.