Children's Hospital Colorado

Contrast-Enhanced Voiding Urosonography (ceVUS) at Children’s Hospital Colorado

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we treat the big things, the small things and everything in between.



If your child has a urinary condition, such as a urinary infection, Children’s Colorado is here to help. We may order a pediatric contrast-enhanced voiding urosonography (ceVUS) to diagnose problems in your child’s urinary tract.

What is pediatric ceVUS?

Pediatric ceVUS uses ultrasound technology to assess your child’s bladder and urinary system. Normally, kidneys release urine into the bladder. If urine flows backward from the bladder to the kidneys (called urinary reflux), it can damage the kidneys.

In a ceVUS test, we inject contrast material into your child’s urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. Then we use ultrasound technology to look for urinary reflux or other problems in your child’s urinary system. We use similar techniques to perform ceVUS and VCUG tests, but the main difference is that ceVUS tests don’t use radiation.

How should I prepare my child for a ceVUS?

  • Take time to talk with your child and explain the test.
  • Reassure your child that they’ll be safe and comfortable, and that you’ll be there the whole time.
  • You may want to bring a comfort item like a stuffed animal, toy or blanket.
  • On the day of the test, dress your child in comfortable clothes that are easy to take off.

Because siblings aren’t allowed in the exam room, please arrange for someone to watch other children.

What to expect during your child’s ceVUS test

It’s normal for your child to feel nervous about getting a ceVUS but knowing what to expect can help. You’ll generally follow these steps for a ceVUS study at Children’s Colorado:

Check in to the hospital

  • Please arrive 30 minutes before your child’s scheduled ceVUS.
  • Bring a list of your child’s medicines and insurance card.
  • We’ll give your child an identification bracelet to ensure they get the right test.
  • You’ll sign a consent form.
  • A highly trained sonographer (ultrasound technician) and a nurse will talk with you and your child about the procedure and answer any questions.
  • You will stay with your child during the entire procedure. A child life specialist will be in the room to support your child as needed.

Receive the contrast fluid

  • The technologist cleans your child’s genitals with a swab.
  • We place a small tube (catheter) into your child’s urethra.
  • We put contrast fluid (containing tiny air bubbles) into the catheter, and it flows into your child’s urinary tract.

Take the ultrasound pictures

  • The sonographer will place ultrasound gel on your child’s skin. We’ll use a small wand (transducer) on your child’s skin to capture images of the bladder, kidneys and urethra. Your child can watch movies or use an iPad during this part of the test.
  • If your child feels the urge to urinate (pee), they’ll need to hold it briefly while the doctor or sonographer takes more ultrasound images.
  • Your child will urinate into a bedpan to allow us to take more ultrasound images during urination. The catheter usually comes off by itself once your child urinates, which will not be painful.
  • The radiologist takes one more ultrasound picture when your child’s bladder is empty.
  • The radiologist reviews the ceVUS images and sends a report to the doctor who ordered the test.

What to expect after a pediatric ceVUS test

Some kids feel tingling or burning the first few times they use the bathroom after the test. This is normal and will go away soon. Drinking extra fluids and taking a warm bath should help.

If you have any questions and/or concerns, call the ParentSmart Healthline toll free at 1-855-KID-INFO (543-4636). Caring pediatric nurses are available 24/7 to help answer your questions.

Why choose us for a pediatric ceVUS

Children’s bodies are different from adults’, and those differences shape every part of our care at Children’s Colorado. We use diagnostic tools and methods tailored to kids’ unique needs.

Our Department of Imaging Services offers:

  • Pediatric expertise: Our pediatric imaging team members care for thousands of children each year. They have specialized training and experience in performing ceVUS for babies, kids and teenagers.
  • Specialized team: A highly skilled sonographer and radiologist will perform your child’s ultrasound. Our expert radiologists review the results and consult with your child’s doctor on the diagnosis.
  • Advanced technology: We use the newest ultrasound techniques and equipment to create precise, detailed images so we can provide the most appropriate care.

Learn more about a pediatric ceVUS

To learn more about a ceVUS, or if you have questions about an upcoming appointment, please call us at 720-777-6541.