What is a Myelogram?

A myelogram, also known as myelography, is a diagnostic imaging procedure performed by a radiologist. It combines the use of a contrast substance with X-rays or computed tomography (CT) to evaluate abnormalities of the spinal canal, including the spinal cord, nerve roots, and other tissues.

The contrast “dye” is injected into the spinal column before the procedure. This substance, or dye, causes the tissue under study to be visible.

After the contrast dye is injected it appears on an X-ray screen allowing the radiologist to view the spinal cord, subarachnoid space, and other surrounding structures more clearly than with standard X-rays of the spine.

The radiologist will also use a CT scan when performing a myelogram. A CT or CAT scan is a diagnostic imaging procedure using a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images of the body. These images, called slices, show detailed images of the spinal canal. CT scans provide more detail than standard X-rays.

Risks of the procedure

Because this procedure involves a lumbar puncture, the following potential complications may occur:

Before the procedure

During the procedure

A myelogram may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your doctor’s practices.

Generally, a myelogram follows this process:

After the procedure