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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

VCUG testing in babies



Our 9 week old son has been diagnosed with a multicystic kidney which was detected prenatally. We have now been told he has to have a VCUG test to see if the urine flows back up towards the kidneys. Is it common to test in babies as young as this? If so, is there any pain relief at all that can be given? How long does the procedure take?


The VCUG is a standard test to check for reflux, which occurs in approximately 15% of newborns with a multicystic dysplastic kidney. Generally, no sedation or specific pain relief is provided. It takes about 15 minutes. The discomfort is with the catheter, which is fairly small. It is generally advisable to have the test performed at a children's hospital to minimize the radiation exposure.

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Response by:

Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP
Clinical Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University