WHAT IS MYELOGRAPHY?
Myelography is a diagnostic X-ray imaging procedure that provides a detailed view of the spinal cord, nerve roots and the covering membranes (meninges). The image or myelogram is often generated using Fluoroscopy and CT.
REASON FOR THE PROCEDURE
Myelography, combined with Fluoroscopy and CT, uses X-rays to create images for diagnosing any abnormalities involving or affecting the spinal cord and nerve roots, including inflammation, infection, lesions, tumors, herniated disks, arthritis and spinal stenosis. Although Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is often used to evaluate the spinal cord and nerve roots, some patients are ineligible for MRI due to the presence of metal devices, implants, screws, plates or rods used for spinal fusion.
At Excel Imaging, your Esse Health Radiologist uses a type of real-time X-ray called Fluoroscopy to position an injection of a contrast fluid into the space around the spinal cord and nerve roots. Multiple images are taken as the contrast dye travels within the space. Often a CT Scan, utilizing low dose X-rays, is used to take computer-generated images from numerous angles. This technique allows your doctor to view in more detail areas where the contrast dye indicated a possible abnormality in an original static X-ray image. Myelography can help determine whether surgical treatment would be beneficial.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS, RISKS, AND COMPLICATIONS
Myelography is a safe procedure that has been utilized for many years. Risks include nerve injury, bleeding around the fluid sac, prolonged leakage of fluid from the puncture site, meningitis, epileptic seizure and an allergic reaction to the contrast dye.