Kidneys, ureter, bladder (KUB) (abdominal X-ray, flat plate of the abdomen)
An X-ray of the abdomen. An X-ray is a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body.
Parts of the body involved:
Reasons for the procedure:
- To help diagnose the source of nausea, vomiting, pain or other symptoms related to the abdomen.
- To identify suspected urinary system problems, such as a kidney stone.
- To identify a tumor or blockage in the intestine or kidneys.
- To locate a foreign object that has been swallowed.
- To assess whether air or fluid is in the peritoneal space (the space surrounding the abdominal organs).
- To assess the amount of fecal material in the colon and evaluate the presence of fecal impactions.
Risk factors that may lead to complications:
The following factors can interfere with the clarity of the X-rays:
- Large amounts of gas or stool in the intestines.
- Excessive peritoneal fluid (fluid from the sac that lines the abdomen).
- Large calcified uterine fibroids.
- Dye or barium left from previous tests.
What to expect before the procedure:
- You will probably be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4 hours before your exam.
- You'll remove your clothes and put on a hospital gown. You'll also need to remove all metal-containing items, including jewelry and watches.
- Tell your doctor if you:
- Have taken bismuth medications (such as Pepto-Bismol) within the last four days.
- Had a barium contrast media X-ray within the last four days.
- Have an IUD currently inserted.
- Are pregnant or could possibly be pregnant.
During the procedure:
No special interventions.
Description of the procedure:
You will lie flat on your back underneath the X-ray machine and remain still while the X-ray is taken. You may be asked to shift to other positions for more X-rays (e.g., on your abdomen or standing).
After the procedure:
You can resume normal activity.
How long will it take?
About 10 minutes.
Will it hurt?
Average hospital stay:
You may resume all normal activity after the procedure
The KUB may help your doctor identify the source of your pain. If these X-rays show a mass, blockage, or other abnormality, you may undergo further testing, which can include:
- Ultrasound - a test that uses sound waves to visualize the inside of the body.
- Abdominal and pelvic CT scan - a type of X-ray that uses a computer to take pictures of the inside of the body.
- Intravenous pyelography (IVP) - a series of X-rays of the urinary system taken after injection of a dye.
Call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
There are usually no reported complications after this procedure.