What Is a KUB Study?
A kidney, ureter, and bladder (KUB) study
is an X-ray procedure that assesses the organs of the urinary system and
gastrointestinal system. Physicians use the procedure to help diagnose urinary
disorders. It is also often used to diagnose causes of abdominal pain. Information
including the size and position of the bladder, kidneys, and ureter may also be
What Does a KUB Study Do?
the test, energy beams from an X-ray machine produce images. The procedure
allows doctors to view certain structures of the digestive system, including
the intestines and stomach. The KUB procedure can diagnose certain
gastrointestinal conditions, such as an intestinal blockage, foreign objects in
the stomach, and some tumors.
can also identify kidney stones and certain types of gallstones.
It can be
used after a procedure. For example, after the insertion of a feeding tube or
ureteral stent, a KUB study can confirm that the device was placed in the
Who Benefits from a KUB Study?
for a KUB study include people who experience abdominal pain but have not
identified the cause. People who have symptoms of gallstones or kidney stones
may also be candidates for the procedure, which may confirm a diagnosis.
Someone who has swallowed a foreign object may also benefit from the procedure,
which can determine whether or not the object is in the stomach.
What Are the Side Effects of a KUB Study?
few if any side effects of having a KUB study. In some cases, lying in the
correct position and holding still for the X-ray may cause minor discomfort.
How Is a KUB Administered?
procedure is performed in a radiological department or center usually by an X-ray
technician. Radiation is emitted from an X-ray machine. The procedure can be
done on either an outpatient or an inpatient basis.
What Are the Steps?
KUB study, patients must change into a hospital robe or gown and remove jewelry.
The technician will explain the procedure, which will likely include the
The technician will position the patient depending on which view
the physician would like to obtain. The patient may have to lie on their side,
face up, or stand.
- A lead apron is sometimes placed over parts of the body that are
not undergoing the X-ray. This is done to protect them from radiation emitted
from the X-ray machine.
Once the patient is positioned correctly, the X-ray machine is
directed at the body. The patient must remain still as the images are taken.
cases, multiple views are needed. This requires that the patient move into
another position as directed so that the technician can obtain multiple angles.
What Are the Risks of a KUB?
During a KUB study, the patient is exposed to low levels of
radiation. The risks of radiation exposure from an X-ray are considered minimal,
compared with the benefits of the test.
How Does a Patient Prepare for a KUB?
for a KUB study is usually minimal. Since radiation is used during an X-ray, a
patient who is or may be be pregnant should notify her doctor, who will
determine whether special precautions should be taken. In some instances, the
doctor may recommend not performing the procedure.
the doctor may also recommend that patients avoid taking medications that
contain bismuth it for a few days before the test. Bismuth, which is used to
treat diarrhea and heartburn, can interfere with abdominal X-ray results.
What Are the Results of a KUB?
results are usually available within a few minutes. A radiologist will often
have to view the X-ray films in order to interpret the results. Results of a KUB
study may show injuries to the stomach or intestines, fluid in the abdominal
cavity, or a blockage of the intestines. In addition, results may show the
presence of kidney stones or gallstones.
procedure, depending on the results, additional testing may be needed.