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Myelogram Test Prep

Note: The following preps are for outpatient care only.

For questions about any of these preps, please contact
the Radiology Reception Desk, at (734) 936-4500 for more information.

What is a Myelogram? Who Performs the Exam?
A myelogram is a radiologic examination of the spinal cord and the space surrounding it. A contrast medium (commonly called "dye") will be injected into your spinal canal. The contrast medium highlights the area of interest. A radiologist performs the examination. A radiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the use of x-rays for diagnosis of medical conditions. The radiologist is assisted by a radiologic technologist, who is trained in the use of x-ray equipment and by a registered nurse.

Where is the Exam Performed? How Long Does the Exam Take?
Myelograms are performed in the Radiology Department of the B1 level of University Hospital. Your exam probably will be completed in approximately 2 hours, but may take longer. The recovery period is about 2 hours. Plan to be in the Department of Radiology for 4-6 hours. Arrange to have someone stay with you for 24 hours following the procedure. Inpatients will return to their rooms to recover.

What Happens During the Exam?
There are various techniques used for administering the contrast medium. Usually, you lie on your stomach on the x-ray table. The radiologist will view your spine on a TV monitor to identify the best location to insert the needle. First, the area will be cleaned with antiseptic solution, which may feel a little cold. Second, you will feel a pin prick in the skin, and a brief burning sensation as a local anesthetic is injected. The radiologist will insert a needle and inject the contrast medium. The x-ray table will be tilted slowly to allow the contrast medium to travel to different levels of the spinal column. The radiologist will watch the flow of the contrast medium on a TV monitor. Then the technologist will take a series of x-rays while the table is tilted in various positions. The nurse will monitor your vital signs and assess your need for analgesics. You will then be taken to another room where a CT scan of the spine will be performed.

Before Your Exam:

When I Arrive in the Radiology Department:

After The Procedure

When you go home:

You should call your doctor if any of the following conditions should develop

After The Procedure
The radiologist will send a report to your doctor after the images have been studied. It is best to ask your doctor for the exam results.

If you have any questions regarding Myelography scheduling, please call (734) 936-4566.

Reviewed and Approved:
Sophia Jan
Bill Weber
Suresh Mukherji