Micturating Cystourethrogram (MCUG)

Children’s Services Colchester Hospital

Children’s Outpatients Department Tel: 01206 746177 Children’s Urology Nurse Specialist Tel: 07785 518438 Children’s Elective Care Unit Tel: 01206 744237


Your child has an appointment at the Children’s Elective Care Unit for a planned investigation called a micturating cystourethrogram (MCUG).

More Information

A micturating cystourethrogram is a scan that shows how Well your baby’s/child’s bladder works. It can be used to show abnormalities with your child’s kidneys, ureters (the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder), bladder and urethra (the tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body). It can assess the shape and size of the bladder and look for any abnormalities such as a blockage along the path of urine. The results of this scan can be used to determine your child’s treatment.

A child’s urinary system

Your consultant has requested this appointment so you should have been made aware. This investigation usually takes place because of renal problems or a recent urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney infection.

The main benefit of a MCG is that we can assess how well the kidneys are working. The results can then also determine treatment plans.

Your child will be at an increased risk of infection because of catheterisation. This is why a course of antibiotics will be prescribed before the investigation. Although the catheter is not painful it may be uncomfortable while it is in place.

You will firstly come to the Children’s Elective Care Unit at Colchester Hospital, where we will give your child a dose of paracetamol. Once it is your appointment time you and your child will be accompanied to the X-ray department where the test will be completed. You will be sent home from there and then receive a discharge letter in the post. A copy will also be sent to your GP.

A doctor or nurse will insert a catheter into your child’s bladder through the urethra. It might feel uncomfortable and might make your child feel the need to urinate but once the catheter is in place, it is usually painless.

A small amount of contrast medium will then be injected through the catheter to fill up the bladder. This is a clear liquid that will show up on X-ray. The radiographer will take a series of images while your child urinates.

Babies will naturally urinate when their bladder is full. Older children will be given a jug or a bedpan to urinate into and asked to tell the radiographer when they feel the need to urinate. Your child will have to be very still or held still for this part of the procedure because it is important to get clear pictures, otherwise the test may need to be repeated.

Your child will need to take a short course of antibiotics for three days to protect him or her from developing a urinary tract infection during the procedure. The antibiotics should be started in the day before the scan, be given on the day of the scan and on the day after.

If your child is currently taking Trimethoprim to prevent a urinary tract infection, the dose should be doubled and given twice a day (4 mgs/kg/BD), the day before, the day of and the day after the scan. You can either give the antibiotics in one single larger dose or give an extra dose in the morning or in the evening.

If your child is currently taking a different antibiotic, please contact the Children’s Elective Care Unit on 01206 744237.

If your child is not currently taking antibiotics, we will arrange this for you in good time (preferably the week before the scan) to ensure the antibiotics can be started on the correct day.

The scan will take about 30 minutes to complete. The catheter will be removed and you will be able to go home and the results of the scan will be discussed at your child’s next hospital appointment.

Your child might complain of stinging while urinating for the first couple of times after the procedure. Encouraging your child to drink extra fluids will help.

If your child becomes unwell after the scan with a high temperature, please contact your child’s GP.

The contrast medium does not affect the medications your child is already taking and you do not need to take any other precautions when handling his or her bodily fluids.

If you have any queries or questions please call 01206 744237.

When your child attends hospital you will be asked for his or her NHs number and other information, such as your address Please be patient with this procedure as it is to ensure our records are kept up to date and to protect your child’s safety.

If you do not know his or her NHS number, please don’t worry, he or she will still receive care.

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