Micturating Cystourethrogram (MCUG)

What is a micturating cystourethrogram (MCUG)?

A micturating cystourethrogram (MCUG) is a scan that shows how well your child's bladder works. It is used to diagnose why your child may have urinary tract infections. It is also used to show up any abnormalities with your child's urinary system.

Are there any alternatives?

Various types of scan such as CT, ultrasound and X-rays can show the size and shape of your child's bladder, but not how it is emptying. The results of the scan are used to plan your child's treatment.

Before The Test

If your child is not currently taking antibiotics to prevent urinary tract infections, he or she will need to take an antibiotic (trimethoprim) twice a day for three days, from the day before the scan until and including the day after the scan.

The scan

You will be able to stay with your child throughout the scan. A catheter is inserted into your child's bladder through the urethra. This does not hurt but it may be a little uncomfortable just a while till tube goes in (this usually takes less than a minute).

Once the catheter is in place, a small amount of contrast medium or dye will be injected through the catheter to fill up the bladder. A contrast medium is a clear liquid that shows up on an X-ray. Babies and young children will naturally pee when the bladder is full. Older children will be given a jug to pee into while lying on the table, when they feel ready.

The radiographer will take a few X-ray pictures while your child is peeing, which you will be able to see on the screen. Your child may need to be held still while these pictures are being taken. When we have enough pictures, the catheter will be removed from your child's bladder. The scan usually takes about 30 minutes.