Information About Your Test


Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. A probe with gel is applied against the part of the body being examined.

Kidney and Bladder

What is being tested?

We use an ultrasound to give us a picture of the kidney, ureter, and bladder. It can give information about size, scarring,  the presence of hydronephrosis (swelling of the kidney), stones, the thickness of the bladder wall, and abnormal masses.


What is being tested?

A scrotal ultrasound will give us pictures of the scrotum, the spermatic cord, and other structures in the groin. It can be used to detect hydroceles, varicoceles, testicular torsion, and to measure the size of the testicles.

Voiding Cystouretrogram (VCUG)

What is being tested?

A children’s (pediatric) 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. When the bladder is filled with and then emptied of a water-soluble contrast material, the radiologist is able to view and assess the anatomy and function of the bladder and lower urinary tract.

It is used to diagnose vesico-ureteral reflux and other bladder and urethral disorders.

A small catheter will be placed into the bladder in order to put the contract material into the bladder. Your child will then need to urinate on the table as the radiologist is taking pictures of how the bladder is working.  We use experienced pediatric radiology centers to perform this test.

Nuclear Medicine Scan

What is being tested?

We commonly order nuclear scans of the kidneys to evaluate the function of the kidneys. MAG-3 lasix scans are used to evaluate whether the kidney is blocked, and DMSA scans are used to evaluate if the kidney has been scarred from infections.  They also tell us what the relative function of the kidneys are to each other. Ideally, each kidney should be 50%, meaning they both contribute the same to the overall kidney function.

The test involves placement of an IV to inject the radiotracer that the machines uses to detect the function of the kidneys. Sedation is occasionally used to calm children for the exam.

Semen Analysis

What is being tested?

A semen analysis measures the quantity and quality of both the liquid portion, called semen, and the microscopic, moving cells, called sperm.

Semen is the turbid, whitish substance that is released from the penis during ejaculation. Sperm are the cells in semen with a head and a tail that enables them to travel to the egg.

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