Magnetic Resonance Urography

paediatric urologist surgeon
paediatric urology clinic

Magnetic Resonance Urography is a radiation-free process that is done by using magnetic waves for creating a detailed picture of the kidney, bladder, and ureters. It uses magnetic waves to look at the structure and function of the urinary tract and other internal organs that produces or transports the urine. It is clinically used for the suspicion of the organs and has a detailed overview. It is primarily done for the assessment of the urinary collecting system, renal parenchyma, and surrounding structures.
MRU is done in an MRI(Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine. It is done by inserting a urinary catheter tube and an intravenous tube in the body in the respective areas and helps to measure the urine drainage to access the function of the kidneys of your child. This whole process takes about an hour to complete.

When is MRU suggested?

An MRU has suggested wherein the symptoms are –

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Blood in urine
  • Difficulty in initiating or maintaining urination
  • Inconsistence urination
  • Difficulty in emptying the bladder
  • Swelling in the specific area of the abdomen
  • Accidental leakage of urine
  • High blood pressure

Severe issues where MRU is done are-

  • Tumors
  • Backward flow of urine
  • Small bladder capacity
  • Kidney diseases
  • Urine blockage in infants

How is Magnetic Resonance Urology performed?

A child whose MRU has to be done is asked to come 2 hrs before the test. Then the urinary catheter tube is inserted through the urethra and into the bladder and an intravenous (IV) catheter tube is inserted through the skin into the vein. The medications are administrated through the respective tubes. The intravenous tube helps the bladder drain. The child is asked to lie still in a face-down position. The pictures are taken in this position only. This position helps the kidney drain the urine accurately. This process is performed to analyze and examine the function of the kidney and bladder.
After the test, the respective tubes are removed and the entries are covered with a dressing. After testing, the children may feel a little burning while urinating for the first time after the catheter tube is removed.

Important things to be taken care of –

MRU is done using magnetic waves, hence it is strictly advised to keep away all the other magnetic things from the machine for proper examination. The children should not wear any metal, jewelry, glitter makeup, tattoo, etc. The children sometimes are also asked to not eat anything before the test.

Benefits of MRU-

It is very effective for getting detailed pictures to analyze the function of the kidney, ureters, and bladder. It helps to get briefed information on the urinary tract and surrounded areas. It is a noninvasive imaging technique that does not involve exposure of radiation and helps discover the abnormalities. It has a very less allergic reaction and is very successful to get informative pictures.

Risks Involved-

Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is found but rare when an excessive amount of medication is inserted inside the tubes in patients with very poor kidney functions.
Apart from this, this process posses no risks if done under observation with full consternation and accordingly as suggested.

Limitations of MRU-

In MRU, the child is asked to stay still and sometimes may be asked to hold the breath too. During this process, nervousness and anxiety in the children can be troublesome during this because this makes difficult to stay still.
Metallic objects near the machine make it difficult to click the pictures.
An irregular heartbeat can affect the quality of the images.