RGU Test - Price, Full Form, Procedure, Purpose, Side Effects

RGU Test

Test Duration


15 Minutes

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30 Minutes

Test Cost



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RGU Test
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Precise diagnosis and staging are crucial for successful surgical outcomes, especially when dealing with urethral strictures. Urologists have various options to evaluate this condition thoroughly.  

Retrograde urethrography (RUG) is a widely accepted and reliable technique for evaluating patients with urethral strictures. Read on to know all about the RGU test.

Alternative Name

Retrograde Urethrogram



Test done by


Report Time

3-4 hours

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What is RGU Test?

RGU test is a diagnostic test specifically designed for male patients who have experienced urethral trauma or injury. The urethra is the tube responsible for carrying urine from the bladder out of the body. 

In some cases, a condition called urethral stricture may develop, causing blockages or closures in the urethra. It results in an obstruction of urine flow. The test helps doctors identify and assess such issues accurately.

What is Micturating Cystourethrogram (MCU)?

A micturating cystourethrogram (MCU) is another imaging procedure that is often performed in conjunction with an RGU test. This test involves the use of a contrast dye to examine the bladder and urethra during urination.

It can help identify abnormalities such as reflux, where urine flows back from the bladder into the ureters, and can cause urinary tract infections.

Need for RGU Test

In cases of traumatic injury to the urethra, the retrograde urethrogram test plays a crucial role. It is used for quickly diagnosing and assessing these injuries and plays a central role in planning the surgical reconstruction of these defects. 

This test helps measure the extent of urethral damage and bulbar length, known as urethrometry, which is essential for proper evaluation. The following is the purpose of the RGU test:

  1. The Retrograde Urethrogram (RGU) test is used to diagnose and assess traumatic injuries to the urethra in male patients.

  2. It helps doctors determine the extent of the urethral damage caused by trauma, such as accidents or injuries.

  3. The RGU test is crucial in planning the appropriate surgical reconstruction for repairing these urethral defects.

  4. This test aids in measuring the bulbar length, known as urethrometry, which is essential for evaluating the injury accurately.

Benefits of ESR Test

The RGU test helps identify abnormalities or injuries of the urethra, such as strictures, obstructions, or tumours. Some of the benefits of an RGU test include:   

  1. Accurate Diagnosis: The RGU test provides a reliable way to diagnose and evaluate conditions affecting the urethra.

    It helps identify the condition's precise location and severity, enabling doctors to develop an effective treatment plan.

  2. Minimally Invasive: The RGU test is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require any incisions or cuts.   

  3. Quick Results: The RGU test can be completed relatively quickly, and the results are usually available within a few hours.

    It provides quick diagnosis and prompt treatment for the patient.

It is important to be prepared for a medical procedure like the RGU test to ensure a smooth experience and accurate results. This section will provide an overview of what patients can expect before and on the day of the RGU test, including preparation instructions and what to expect during the test.

Knowing what to expect can help patients feel more comfortable and informed about the procedure.

Preparation of RGU Test

Patients may be instructed to refrain from eating or drinking for hours before the retrograde urethrogram (RGU) examination. To prevent difficulties, they might also be instructed to take a laxative. 

Before RGU Test

Before undergoing a retrograde urethrogram test, patients may be instructed to follow certain guidelines to prepare for the procedure. Here are fewer things to keep in mind before the test:

  1. Provide medical history: Patients should inform their healthcare provider about any medical conditions, allergies, medications or supplements they are taking, and previous surgeries.

  2. Fast before the test: To avoid difficulties associated with anaesthesia, patients may be requested to fast for a period of time before the test.

  3. Empty bladder before the test: Patients may be asked to empty their bladder before the procedure. It is then filled with the contrast agent.

  4. Wear comfortable clothing: Patients should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing on the day of the test.

On The Day of The RGU Test

Here are some things that patients can expect on the day of an RGU test:

  1. Patients may be asked to change into a hospital gown or other clothing suitable for the test.

  2. They will also be asked to remove any jewellery or metal objects prior to the operation.

  3. Patients may need to provide a urine sample before the test.

  4. Patients will be positioned on an X-ray table, lying down on their back with their legs bent and feet flat on the table.

  5. During the test, patients may be asked to change positions or hold their breath to help the healthcare provider get clear images.

RGU Test Procedure

The treatment is usually done in an outpatient environment and takes around 30 minutes to complete. A  trained radiology technician or radiologist typically performs the test in a hospital or imaging centre.

The following are the stages in completing an RGU test:

  1. Preparation:  The patient will first be placed on an X-ray table, legs stretched apart. This allows the healthcare provider to easily perform the test. 

  1. Local anaesthesia: The healthcare provider may apply a topical anaesthetic or inject a local anaesthetic into the urethra to minimise discomfort during the procedure.

  1. Catheterization: A thin, flexible catheter will be inserted into the urethra and advanced into the bladder.

    A small balloon at the tip of the catheter will be inflated to hold it in place.

  1. Contrast agent: A contrast agent, usually iodine or barium, will be injected through the catheter into the bladder.

    The contrast agent will fill the bladder and the urethra, allowing the healthcare provider to identify any abnormalities.

  1. X-ray imaging: X-rays will be taken while the contrast agent is flowing through the urethra.

    The healthcare provider may ask the patient to change positions or cough to obtain different angles of the urethra.

  1. Removal of catheter: Once the procedure is complete, the catheter will be removed, and the patient will be able to empty their bladder.

Aftercare of RGU Test

Individual experiences may vary, and following the guidance provided by the healthcare professional who performed the RGU test is essential. The aftercare of the test includes:

  1. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to flush out the dye used during the test and promote healthy urine flow.

  2. Monitor for Discomfort: It is normal to experience mild discomfort or a sensation of urgency while urinating after the test.

    However, if severe pain or bleeding occurs, seek medical attention immediately.

  3. Avoid Straining: Refrain from heavy lifting or straining activities for a day or two after the test to avoid putting pressure on the urinary tract.

  4. Follow Doctor's Advice: Adhere to any specific instructions the doctor gives, such as taking prescribed medications or following a special diet, to support the healing process.

Results of RGU Test

It takes about 3-4 hours to get the report. The print of the report is available the day after the test. The conditions that can be interpreted in the report are::

  1. Urethral Trauma: The test helps doctors diagnose and assess traumatic injuries to the urethra.

    It provides crucial information about the extent and location of the damage.

  2. Urethral Stricture: For patients with urethral strictures (narrowing or blockages in the urethra), the test evaluates the severity and location of the stricture.

    This information is essential in deciding the most suitable treatment approach, such as dilation or surgery.

  3. Urethral Diverticulum: RGU is useful in detecting and confirming urethral diverticula, pouch-like structures in the urethra that can cause discomfort and urinary problems.

    Accurate diagnosis through RGU aids in planning appropriate treatment options.

  4. Urinary Incontinence: In cases of urinary incontinence (involuntary leakage of urine), RGU can help identify potential causes like anatomical abnormalities or urethral problems.

  5. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): RGU can be employed to assess the urinary tract for abnormalities or obstructions that may contribute to recurrent UTIs.

    This allows targeted interventions to prevent further infections.

Treatment Plan After Test

Accurate diagnosis and staging are vital factors for achieving positive outcomes in surgery across all medical specialities. Precise evaluation can significantly impact the effectiveness of the treatment. The treatment plan includes:

  1. Medication: In some cases, medicines may be prescribed to address underlying conditions contributing to urinary problems.

    If the RGU test reveals a urinary tract infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.

  2. Dilation: The doctor may widen a narrowed urethra using a special instrument to improve urine flow.

  3. Urethroplasty: In more severe cases of urethral stricture, surgery may be recommended to reconstruct the damaged portion of the urethra.

  4. Surgical Removal: If a urethral diverticulum is causing discomfort or issues, the doctor may suggest surgical removal of the pouch-like structure.

  5. Catheterization: For urethral trauma, a catheter may be inserted to help the urethra heal properly and allow urine to pass.

Risk and Complications of RGU Test

Like any medical procedure, the RGU test also involves some risks and potential complications. Some of them include:

  1. Infection: There is a small risk of infection anytime a catheter or other medical device is inserted into the body.

    Proper sterile techniques can help reduce this risk.

  2. Discomfort or pain: The RGU test can be uncomfortable or painful for some patients, especially those with existing urethral conditions.

  3. Allergic Reaction: In rare cases, the contrast material used during the RGU test can cause an allergic reaction.

    Symptoms may include hives, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

  4. Exposure to radiation: It involves the use of X-rays, which expose the patient to a small amount of radiation.

    However, the amount of radiation is considered safe and not likely to cause any long-term harm.

Cost of Retrograde Urethrogram Test

On average, the cost of an RGU test in India can range from INR 2,000 to INR 5,000 or more. Below is a table showing the estimated cost of RGU in different cities in India:

The cost of retrograde urethrogram (RGU) in India can vary depending on several factors, such as:

  1. Healthcare facility location: In some regions, the cost of medical procedures and tests may be higher due to factors such as cost of living and healthcare regulations.

  2. Type of healthcare facility: A test performed at an I-Tier hospital may cost more than performed at a diagnostic imaging centre or clinic.

  3. Healthcare provider: The cost of an RGU test may vary depending on the healthcare provider performing the procedure.

    Specialists, such as urologists, may charge more for the procedure compared to general practitioners.

  4. Insurance coverage: Insurance coverage is an important factor that affects the cost of medical procedures.

    The cost of an RGU test may be covered in full or in part by health insurance, depending on the patient's insurance policy.

  5. Additional tests or procedures: In some cases, additional tests or procedures may be required alongside the RGU test, which can increase the overall cost of the procedure.

Procedure Name

Cost Value (INR)

RGU Test in Delhi

2,500 - 5,000

RGU Test in Mumbai

3,500 - 7,000

RGU Test in Bangalore

2,000 - 5,000

RGU Test in Kolkata

3,000 - 6,000


The Retrograde Urethrogram (RUG) test is a gold standard test to accurately diagnose and assess urethral stricture disease in patients. When used with other imaging methods, RUG can improve and simplify the diagnosis process, especially in more complicated cases.

Turn to HexaHealth and get a detailed understanding of how RGU can help you. Our team of experienced doctors can study your particular case history and guide you towards the best course of treatment. Get in touch to know more!

Suggested Reads

Urethral Stricture
Urethral Stricture Repair
Urethral Stent Placement

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FAQs for RGU Test

The full form of the RGU Test is Retrograde Urethrogram Test. It is a diagnostic procedure to evaluate the urethra, a tube that carries urine out of the bladder.

RGU MCU Test stands for Retrograde Urethrogram and Micturating Cystourethrogram Test. This is a combination of two tests - the RGU Test and the MCU Test.

The MCU test is used to examine the bladder and the urethra during urination, while the RGU test is used to examine the urethra during X-rays. Together, these tests can help diagnose problems with the urinary tract, such as blockages, reflux, or structural abnormalities.

The procedure for an RGU Test involves the use of X-rays to examine the urethra. A contrast dye is inserted into the urethra, and X-rays are taken.

The RGU Test is primarily used to diagnose and evaluate problems with the urethra, such as strictures, obstructions, or injuries.

It may also be used to help diagnose other urinary tract problems, such as bladder or ureteral abnormalities.

A doctor might order an RGU Test if a patient is experiencing symptoms such as:

  1. Difficulty urinating 

  2. Pain during urination

  3. Blood in the urine 

An RGU Test can be uncomfortable, but it is generally not a painful procedure. Patients may experience a mild burning or stinging sensation.

The average price of an RGU Test can vary depending on factors such as location, healthcare provider, and insurance coverage. Without insurance, the cost can range from INR 2,500 - 6,000.  

Like all medical procedures, there are some risks associated with an RGU Test. These risks can include:

  1. Infection

  2. Allergic reactions to the contrast dye

Your healthcare provider will provide you with specific instructions on what to do before the procedure. Generally, it is recommended to avoid eating or drinking anything for a few hours before an RGU Test. 

The duration of an RGU Test may vary depending on the individual case. On average, the procedure takes around 30 minutes to complete.

After an RGU Test, it is usually recommended to drink plenty of fluids to help flush out the contrast dye from your system. Your healthcare provider may also provide you with specific instructions on any additional care.

During an RGU Test, you will be asked to lie down on a table while a small tube is inserted into your urethra to inject the contrast dye. You may experience a slight burning or stinging sensation during the procedure.

After an RGU Test, you may experience some discomfort or pain when urinating for a short time. This is normal and should subside within a few hours.

Your healthcare provider will advise you on any additional symptoms to watch out for and when to follow up for the results of the test.

Myth: Retrograde urethrogram is a painful and uncomfortable procedure.

Fact: While some discomfort and pressure may be felt during the procedure, it is generally well-tolerated by patients. Local anaesthesia is usually given to minimise any discomfort.

Myth: Retrograde urethrogram is not safe and can cause complications.

Fact: RGU is generally considered a safe procedure with a low risk of complications. As with any medical procedure, there is a small risk of infection but these risks are rare.


All the articles on HexaHealth are supported by verified medically-recognized sources such as; peer-reviewed academic research papers, research institutions, and medical journals. Our medical reviewers also check references of the articles to prioritize accuracy and relevance. Refer to our detailed editorial policy for more information.

  1. Maciejewski C, Rourke K. Imaging of urethral stricture disease. Translational Andrology and Urology [Internet]. 2015 Feb 1;4(1):2–9.link
  2. RGU Test | Best Nephrologist In Delhi | Dr Rajesh Goel | Kidney Care Centre [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2023 Aug 3].link
  3. Urethral stricture - Care at Mayo Clinic - Mayo Clinic [Internet]. www.mayoclinic.org.link
  4. Urethral Diverticulum: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment - Urology Care Foundation [Internet]. www.urologyhealth.org.link
  5. Retrograde Urethrogram: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment - Urology Care Foundation [Internet]. www.urologyhealth.org.link
  6. Dabela-Biketi A, Mawad K, Li H, Tan-Kim J, Morrill MY, Rosenstein D, et al. Urethrographic Evaluation of Anatomic Findings and Complications after Perineal Masculinization and Phalloplasty in Transgender Patients. RadioGraphics. 2020 Mar;40(2):393–402.link
  7. Hospital Discharge [Internet]. www.hopkinsmedicine.org.link
  8. Waring J, Marshall F, Bishop S, Opinder Sahota, Walker M, Graeme Currie, et al. Hospital discharge and patient safety: reviews of the literature [Internet]. Nih.gov. NIHR Journals Library; 2014.link
  9. Coppa K, Kim EJ, Oppenheim MI, Bock KR, Conigliaro J, Hirsch JS. Examination of Post-discharge Follow-up Appointment Status and 30-Day Readmission. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2021 Jan 19;link
  10. AHRQ. Follow Up with Patients: Tool #6 [Internet]. www.ahrq.gov. 2020.link
  11. Retrograde Urethrography [Internet]. Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 2022 [cited 2023 Aug 3].link


Sangeeta Sharma

Sangeeta Sharma

BSc. Biochemistry I MSc. Biochemistry (Oxford College Bangalore)

6 Years Experience

She has extensive experience in content and regulatory writing with reputed organisations like Sun Pharmaceuticals and Innodata. Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical conten...View More

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