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A myelogram ( myelography ) is utilized to diagnose disorders of the spinal canal and cord, such as nerve compression causing pain and weakness.
The test is usually performed on an outpatient basis at a hospital or other medical facility by a neuroradiologist. Neuroradiology is a sub-specialty of radiology that conducts studies of the central nervous system.
A myelogram requires introduction of radiographic contrast media ( dye ) into the sac ( dura ) surrounding the spinal cord and nerves. The patient lies on their stomach during the test. After the skin area has been numbed, the dye is injected into the spinal sac followed by x-rays, CT, or MRI scans. After the images are processed, a neuroradiologist interprets the results and sends a report to the referring physician.
Following the myelogram, the patient is taken to a recovery area where they rest lying down with their head elevated for several hours. Once at home, quiet non-strenuous activities are recommended for 24 hours to allow the puncture site to heal. Plenty of fluids ( e.g. water, juice ) should be consumed to clear the dye from the body.
If you are taking any of these medications, please discontinue them 48 hours prior to your myelogram. These medications increase the risk of seizure when contrast material is used for myelography.
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