KUB (Kidney-Ureter-Bladder scan)

What is KUB?

KUB is a diagnostic imaging X-ray technique to investigate organs and structures of the urinary and gastrointestinal tract. KUB is often the first diagnostic scan conducted in cases of renal colic. X-rays are made with the use of an external radiation apparatus to produce images of body organs depicted on a special film. 

When is KUB performed?

The physician may recommend KUB:

  • if there is acute abdominal pain suspected to originate from the urinary tract (e.g. renal colic due to stone)
  • to diagnose and monitor patients with lithiasis
  • to check the proper placement of ureteral catheters (Pig-Tail)

What preparation is needed for KUB?

No special preparation is needed. You should though be aware that some factors or conditions may affect the KUB test results, such as:

  • recent Barium intake for the need of another radiological scan
  • presence of large amounts of gases or stool in the bowel
  • decalcification of uterine fibromyomas

KUB uses low levels of radiation.  In case of pregnancy, you should always inform your physician.

How is KUB performed?

You may need to have a KUB either as an outpatient or as a hospital inpatient. Your physician will explain the procedure and answer any questions related to the test you may potentially have. The procedure is as follows:

  • You will be asked to take off clothes, jewellery, belts or other objects from the abdominal region that might affect the procedure.
  • You may be asked to stand upright or lie in supine position (on your back) on a special radiology table.
  • A device producing X-rays will be placed in front of your abdomen, while a sheath containing a special tape including the film will be positioned behind your back.`
  • The lab technologist will move behind a special protective partition.
  • When asked, you have to remain absolutely still. A few seconds later, you will be informed that the procedure is completed.
  • The procedure is absolutely painless.
  • Once the test procedure is completed, you can get dressed and leave the lab.

Following the KUB scan, you can right away resume to your everyday activities without any restrictions. 

How are KUB results interpreted?

Should there be any abnormal finding, the physician will inform you about this. You will be given further instructions and information about therapeutic options that are appropriate for you. In case of doubts, you may be recommended to undergo more specific screening (CT scan, Intravenous Urography etc).