A CT myelogram is a CT examination of the spine that is performed following a myelogram.
The myelogram is done before the CT examination in order to outline the spinal cord and nerve roots on the CT study so the possibility of mass effect on the cord or nerve roots (from herniated disc, bony osteophyte, etc) can be assessed on the CT study.
The spinal cord is located in a bony canal in the back of the vertebral column. It is surrounded by fluid (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF) that is contained within a long tube-like structure called the dural sac.
A myelogram is performed by inserting a needle into the dural sac in order to inject the x-ray dye that will opacify the cerebrospinal fluid for the CT study.
A radiologist uses Xray (fluoroscopy) to guide needle placement during the myelogram to insure that the dural sac is punctured in a safe fashion below the level of the spinal cord.
After the myelogram is completed, the patient is placed in the CT scanner and a CT examination of the spine is obtained.
Discontinue any blood thinner medication (ie. Coumadin, Plavix, etc) as instructed by your physician or Radiology Department staff.
If you are taking any mood altering medications (for example Prozac, Zoloft, etc) you will be asked to discontinue the medication for a few days prior to the study.
These medications slightly increase the chance of having a seizure during the myelogram.
Myelograms are commonly performed studies and the risks are very low. However, there are a few known risks of this procedure. Major risks including the following:
The imaging scheduler will let you know what preparation, if any, is needed for your particular exam when your appointment is scheduled.