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Ultrasound of the Kidneys, Ureters & Bladder (KUB)

Ultrasound of the Kidneys

In medicine, KUB refers to a diagnostic medical imaging technique of the abdomen and stands for Kidneys, Ureters, and Bladder, although in fact the Ureters only show if they are abnormally distended. A KUB ultrasound is an examination requested by your doctor to evaluate the urinary tract (which includes the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder).  In the male patient, the prostate gland  is also scanned.

Ultrasound image of right kidney_ls_sm


A KUB Ultrasound may be requested:


  • To look for changes in the bladder wall 
  • To look for changes in the kidney size or structure
  • To look for stones in the urinary tract 
  • To evaluate reasons why you have recurrent kidney infection
  • To identify the cause of renal or pelvic pain 


What happens during my renal or KUB ultrasound?

The urinary bladder can only be properly assessed when full or distended, as bladder volume measurements are taken whilst the bladder is full.  


The bladder and both kidneys are also scanned after the bladder has been emptied to evaluate the volume of urine retained

In the male patient the prostatic volume is measured.


During the ultrasound examination we will  make a detailed study of the size, shape and condition of the:

  • Urinary Bladder, Both full and immediately after emptying (You will be sent to a lavatory to empty your bladder)
  • Both Right and Left Kidneys and their ureters
  • The Prostate gland (Males)

A written report of the findings will be provided, with images where necessary to demonstrate abnormal findings.


What preparation is required for the a KUB Ultrasound scan?

A full bladder is required and you will need to drink a pint of water in the hour before your scan. During this period, please do not empty your bladder.


What will happen during the examination?

The KUB ultrasound examination is non-invasive and painless. You will be asked to lie on your back on the examination couch and expose your lower abdomen. Our highly qualified and experienced Sonographer will move a transducer lubricated with warm gel over your lower abdomen to obtain the necessary images. You are welcome to ask questions during your examination. You may bring someone into the examination room with you if you wish (no children please), and a HealthCare Assistant will also be on hand should you require support or a chaperone.


Click here for more information on different types of Ultrasound Scans

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