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Spine CT Myelogram – About the Exam

Myelography or a Myelogram is most commonly used by Mountain Medical radiologists to detect abnormalities affecting the spinal cord, the spinal canal, the spinal nerve roots and the blood vessels that supply the spinal cord. The procedure can also help with surgical spinal planning decisions.

A spine CT Myelogram can also be used to assess the following spinal conditions when MRI cannot be performed, or when MRI does not provide sufficient information:

  • tumors involving the bony spine, meninges, nerve roots or spinal cord
  • infection involving the bony spine, intervertebral discs, meninges and surrounding soft tissues
  • inflammation of the arachnoid membrane that covers the spinal cord
  • spinal lesions caused by disease or trauma

What you can expect during a spine CT Myelogram:

  • This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis.
  • You will be asked to lay face-down on the CT table as the radiologist, or technologist uses fluoroscope.
  • As the patient lies face-down on the examination table, the radiologist will use the fluoroscope, which projects radiographic images in a movie-like sequence onto the monitor, to visualize the spine and determine the best place to inject the contrast material.
  • At this point, the contrast material will be injected into the lower lumbar spinal canal.
  • A CT scan will be performed immediately following the conclusion of the Myelogram while contrast material is still present within the spinal canal.
  • A Myelogram is usually completed within 30 to 60 minutes. A CT scan will add another 15 to 30 minutes to the total examination time.

Learn how to prepare for a spine CT Myelogram.

Learn the benefits and risks of spine CT Myelogram.

Watch the CT - What to Expect Video.