A myelogram is a study of the spinal canal using the injection of contrast into the space surrounding the spinal cord. This exam is useful in obtaining information concerning spinal lesions, cord compression or disc herniation or bulging.

How do I prepare for the exam?

Aspirin should be stopped one day prior to the exam. Coumadin should be stopped three days prior, and Plavix seven days prior.

You will be admitted thru the Admissions and Testing unit two hours prior to the start of the exam. During this time, vitals will be taken, and IV started and several health questions will be asked.

What can I expect during the exam?

This exam is conducted by a radiologic technologist and a radiologist.

The Radiologist will talk with you prior to the exam to answer any questions. You will be lie on your stomach on the exam table, so the area to be examined can be sterilized and numbed. A local numbing agent will be injected to numb the skin and muscle around the injection area. Once the Radiologist has the tip of the needle in the sac that surrounds the spinal cord, the contrast will be injected.

Sometimes the table is moved to lower the patient's head and allow the contrast to move to the appropriate area of the spine. Images will be taken of the spine to evaluate the contrast distribution.

You will then go to CT (CAT Scan) to have additional images taken. It is very important that in between exams, you lie very still on your stomach to avoid movement of the contrast.

The procedure will take 60 to 90 minutes, including the CT scan.

What can I expect after the exam?

You will return to Admission and Testing for post procedure vital signs and to monitor pain for about two hours. A driver will need to be present to take the patient home.

The contrast will be absorbed by the body.