What is a Micturating Cystogram (MCUG)???
A MCUG is an x-ray that shows how well your child’s bladder works. It is used to help diagnose why your child may have urinary tract infections. It can also show up any abnormalities with your child’s urinary system, which includes the kidneys, bladder and the tubes that join them together (ureters).
Before the appointment
It is important that your child has not had an infection for six weeks before this appointment date, and that your child is on antibiotics for this examination.
If your child is not on antibiotics, then please contact your own G.P or the hospital consultant who will arrange a prescription. Further information is found in your appointment letter regarding how to give the antibiotics.
What the test involves
The MCUG test is done in the x-ray department, when you arrive in the department the radiographer will explain the test to you and answer any questions you may have before we begin.
Your child will lie on the x-ray table and the radiographer will wash between your child’s legs and insert a small tube called a catheter into the bladder. This will be uncomfortable but should not cause any pain, however your child may need reassurance from you whilst this happens.
If your child has any of the following, please feel free to bring into the room to distract or calm them:
- A dummy
- A drink – if possible could you try to delay your child’s next feed until the start of the examination, as this will help to distract or calm them.
- A favourite toy
Contrast (a clear liquid that shows up on x-rays) is run through this tube to fill up your child’s bladder. X-rays are taken as the bladder fills and your child will be moved into different positions.
X-rays are also taken when your child is emptying their bladder (weeing), once all the pictures are taken the tube is removed and the examination is finished. The whole test should take 15 to 30 minutes.
After the test
You will not usually be told the results of the test; the radiographer will have a close look at the images and send a report to your child’s consultant. If you have not already, you will need to make a follow up appointment with your child’s consultant to discuss the results.
If you have any concerns your child may be unwell as a result of the test please seek medical advice from your GP telling them about the test.
Radiation dose and risk
X-rays use ionising radiation which can cause cell damage that may, after many years or decades, turn cancerous. The risk of this happening is very small compared to the normal lifetime risk of developing cancer which is 1 in 2. We are also all exposed to background radiation every day.
The risk of long-term effects is considered when the healthcare team decide whether someone needs an x-ray examination and radiation doses are kept as low as possible. For this examination our local dose levels at JCUH are lower than the national Diagnostic Reference levels, and are typically equivalent to around 1 week of background radiation. The associated risk is less than 1 in 10,000.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.