Visitor Monitoring

Prepare for Your Myelogram

A myelogram is an X-ray taken after a contrast medium is injected into the space surrounding the spinal cord and nerve roots. A CT scan is done following the myelogram.

Before the myelogram:

  • An MDC nurse will contact you 24 to 48 hours prior to your exam to discuss your medical history and your current medications
  • If you have not received a call from the MDC nurse 48 hours prior to your exam, please contact the MDC nurse at 612.879.1528 (8 am - 4 pm)
  • Please let us know if you are nursing or may be pregnant
  • To help you eliminate the contrast from your body, drink eight 8-ounce glasses (2 quarts) of water or juice the evening before your exam
  • You may have a light breakfast, such as an egg, toast, juice and coffee up to two hours before your exam, then nothing to eat until after the exam
  • Please make arrangements to have someone drive you home, and to have a responsible adult stay with you for 12 hours following the exam
  • Bring a packed lunch (beverages will be provided), if desired
  • Please bring previous imaging studies with you to your exam (MRI or CT reports and images)

During the myelogram:

  • You will be asked to change into a gown
  • You will be lying on your stomach on an X-ray table throughout the exam
  • A portion of your back is cleaned and covered with a sterile drape
  • After a local anesthetic is injected to numb the area, the radiologist injects a dye into the space surrounding your spinal cord
  • X-rays will be taken of your back while the table is tilted in various positions
  • The entire test takes approximately 30 minutes

After the myelogram:

  • A technologist will take additional images of your spine on a CT scanner (this will take approximately 15-30 minutes)
  • After the CT scan, you will rest quietly at our facility for approximately four hours
  • Drink plenty of fluids during the 4-hour rest period (juice, coffee and soda will be provided)
  • You will be given specific post-procedure instructions at the time of your discharge
  • You will need to stay on bed rest until the following morning
  • Side effects are rare, but may include headaches, nausea, or vomiting

Test Results:
Following the myelogram procedure, a radiologist analyzes the images and sends a report to your doctor, who will then discuss the results with you

Myelography is only available at MDC Minneapolis.

Photo courtesy of Siemens.