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Diagnosis Urology

Genitourinary Tract Injuries

Many injuries to the genitourinary tract are subtle and difficult to diagnose. Therefore, an early diagnosis and great diagnostic expertise are essential to prevent serious complications.

Your doctor will begin by taking a detailed medical history to determine whether you experienced any events, such as an accident or fall, that may have injured your genitourinary tract. A physical examination will then be performed to check for any symptoms associated with injuries to the genitourinary tract.

If injuries are suspected, the following tests may be recommended to make a definite diagnosis:

  • Catheterization Urinary catheters are tubes placed into the bladder to drain the urine. Catheterization will not be performed if there is blood at the opening of the urethra, a sign of injury to the urethra.
  • Abdominal Computed Tomography (CT) A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to produce detailed pictures of the body's internal structures, such as the abdomen. An abdominal CT scan is used to help identify injuries to the kidneys.
  • Retrograde Cystography During this test, contrast dye is injected into the bladder through the urethra. X-rays are then taken of the bladder, which helps to identify injuries to the bladder.
  • Urethrography This test involves taking X-rays of the urethra to identify any injuries or obstructions in this area.
  • Arteriography Arteriography involves taking an X-ray of blood vessels. Before X-rays are taken, a dye is injected into surrounding arteries so that the blood vessels are visible on the X-ray. In cases of suspected genitourinary injuries, arteriographies are useful in examining the blood vessels of the kidneys to check for injuries in that area.
  • Intravenous Urography This test involves taking an X-ray of the urinary tract. Before X-rays are taken, a dye is injected to make urine visible on the X-ray, which shows any blockages in the urinary tract or problems with the kidneys.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.