Myelogram is a diagnostic test that helps in detecting abnormalities of the spine, spinal cord and spinal fluid. A contrast dye is injected into the the neck area (cisternal myelogram) or in the lower back area (lumbar myelogram). Any abnormality or indentation on the spinal cord can be identified with a myelogram test. A bulging disc, tumor or herniated disk can lead to indentations on the spinal cord. A myelogram is conducted for patients who suffer spinal stenosis, herniated disc or inflammation of the arachnoid membrane. Myelogram aids in diagnosing problems of blood supply to the spine and tumors.
A myelogram is ideal for patients who have had metal implants in their spine, preventing them from undergoing an MRI scan or CT scan. A spinal tap is performed to inject the dye into the spinal sac. When combined with a CT scan, a myelogram helps in understanding the condition of the spinal bones and muscles. A patient scheduled for a myelogram must not eat for few hours prior to the test. Pregnant women and those with a history of asthma or epilepsy must keep the doctor informed.
Fluid intake must be maintained so as to remain well hydrated. Medications such as blood thinners, antidepressants and diabetes medicines may need to be temporarily stopped. A person is asked to lie down with head in elevated position for few hours after the myelogram test. The risks associated with a myelogram include meningitis, spinal headache and allergic reactions.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 12, 2019