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By AGE2B team
March 3, 2022

A myelography, sometimes called a myelogram, is a diagnostic test that typically uses contrast dye and x-rays to take images of your vertebrae and the spaces between the vertebrae that are filled with fluid, called the subarachnoid space. This procedure is very useful in helping to identify spinal tumors, some spinal disorders such as narrowing of the spinal canal, herniated discs, and arthritis.   

During a myelogram, a contrast dye is injected into the subarachnoid space. As it spreads into the area, x-rays are taken. The dye helps make certain areas of the spinal column more visible such as the spinal cord, the nerve roots, and any possible tumors or masses. In some cases, if more information is needed, a CT scan may be completed after the myelogram while the contrast dye is still present.

Physicians often order a myelogram to look for certain conditions that affect the nerves in the spinal canal and the spinal cord itself. Some of these conditions include bone spurs, infection, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and tumors. This procedure can also help determine the source of pain when other tests, such as CT scans or MRI’s have been unable to find the cause.

A myelogram is done by a physician in the radiology department of a hospital or in an outpatient radiology center.

Purpose of Myelography

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is regularly the main imaging exam done to assess the spinal string and nerve roots. Notwithstanding, once in a while, a patient has a therapeutic gadget, for example, a cardiovascular pacemaker, that may keep him or her from experiencing MRI. In such cases, myelography and additionally a CT scan, in lieu of MRI, is performed to better characterize variations from the norm.
Myelography is most generally used to distinguish variations from the norm influencing the spinal string, the spinal channel, the spinal nerve roots and the veins that supply the spinal line, including: 
  • to demonstrate whether a herniation of the intervertebral circle between the progressive vertebral bodies is packing the nerve roots or the spinal line.
  • to delineate a condition that regularly goes with degeneration of the bones and delicate tissues encompassing the spinal channel, named spinal stenosis. In this condition, the spinal trench limits as the encompassing tissues expand because of the improvement of hard goads (osteophytes) and thickening of the neighboring tendons.
Myelography can likewise be utilized to survey the accompanying conditions when MR imaging can’t be performed, or notwithstanding MRI (when MR does not give adequate data): 
  • tumors including the hard spine, meninges, nerve roots or spinal line
  • disease including the hard spine, intervertebral plates, meninges and encompassing delicate tissues
  • irritation of the arachnoid layer that covers the spinal string
  • spinal injuries caused by sickness or injury
Myelography can help with surgical arranging choices. In patients with spinal instrumentation (screws, plates, bars, and so on.), MR imaging may not be ideal in light of ancient rarities produced by these instruments. In these cases, your specialist may choose to arrange CT myelography.

How To Prepare for a Myelography

Your specialist will let you know whether you have to change the amount you eat and drink before the myelogram. You might be solicited to build the sum of the water you drink before the test. Take the directions exactly about eating and drinking, or your test might be crossed out.
Prior to a myelogram, tell your specialist in the event that you: 
  • Are taking any prescriptions. You may need to quit taking a few meds for 2 days before the test.
  • Have epilepsy or a seizure issue.
  • Are or may be pregnant.
  • Are susceptible to any solutions, differentiate material, or iodine color.
  • Have draining issues or take blood-diminishing meds, for example, headache medicine, clopidogrel (Plavix), or warfarin (Coumadin).
  • Have asthma.
  • Have ever had a serious unfavorably susceptible response.
  • Have had kidney issues.
  • Have diabetes, particularly in the event that you take metformin (Glucophage).
  • Orchestrate to have somebody take you home and remain with you after the test.
  • Converse with your specialist about any worries you have in regards to the requirement for the test, its dangers, how it will be done, or what the outcomes will mean.

Myelography Procedure

  • You will have a lumbar cut to put the color into your spinal trench. You will lie on your stomach or side on an X-ray table. The specialist cleans a region on your lower back. A desensitizing prescription is put into your skin.
  • After the territory is numb, a thin needle is put into the spinal channel and a surge of X-rays (fluoroscopy) is utilized to enable the specialist to put the needle in the correct region. An example of spinal trench liquid might be taken before the color is placed in the channel.
  • After the color is placed in, you will lie still while the X-ray pictures are taken.
  • After the photos are taken, a little swathe is returned to your where the needle was placed in. You will be guided after the test.
This test more or less takes 30 minutes to 60 minutes. You may need to lie in bed with your set out raised toward 4 to 24 hours after the test. To counteract seizures, don’t twist around or rests with your head lower than your body. Maintain a strategic distance from the strenuous action, for example, running or truly difficult work, for no less than 1 day after the test. Drink a lot of water a short time later. Your specialist will give you directions for taking your general solutions.

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