How accurate is Myelography | Neurology

Myelography

What is myelography?

Myelography is an imaging test that involves inserting a spinal needle into the spinal canal and injecting contrast material into the area around the spinal cord and nerve roots (subarachnoid space) under real-time fluoroscopy.

Radiography (radiography) is an unplanned medical test that helps doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. X-ray images produce images of the inside of the body by exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation. X-rays are the oldest and most widely used form of medical imaging.

Preparation for myelography

Always follow the instructions provided by your doctor and/or neurobiologist. In general, most references may include the following:

  • Arrange for someone to drive you to the hospital/radiology center and home after the test.
  • The neuroradiologist may ask you to bring previous and related X-rays, CT scans, or copies of MRI scans (eg, CDs) for review. Previous radiological studies can be compared with myelography images.
  • Do not eat anything after midnight before your myelogram appointment. Clear liquids are generally acceptable.
  • If you need to take any medicine on the day of your appointment, take it with a clear liquid (for example, water) unless your doctor gives you other instructions.
  • You may be instructed to keep jewelry and valuables at home.

Purpose of myelography

A myelogram is done to examine the spinal cord, subarachnoid space, or other structures for defects or changes. When standard X-ray, does not give clear answers about the cause of back or spine problems, the test is suggested. Myelograms can be used to evaluate many diseases, including:

  • Herniated discs (discs that bulge and press on nerves and/or the spinal cord)
  • Spinal cord
  • Brain tumors
  • Infection and/or inflammation of tissues around the spinal cord and brain
  • Spinal stenosis is the degeneration and swelling of the bones and tissues around the spinal cord that make the canal narrow
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a disease that affects the spine, causing the bones to grow together
  • Bone spurs
  • Arthritic discs
  • Cysts are benign capsules that are filled with fluid or solid matter.
  • Tearing away or injury of spinal nerve roots
  • Arachnoiditis (inflammation of a delicate membrane that covers the brain.)

There may be other reasons for suggesting the myelogram test.

Before the myelography

Always follow the instructions provided by your doctor and/or neurobiologist. In general, most references may include the following:

  • Arrange for someone to drive you to the hospital/radiology center and home after the test.
  • You may be asked to bring previous and related X-rays, CT scans, or copies of MRIs (eg, CDs) for a neurobiologist to review. Previous radiological studies can be compared with myelographic images.
  • Do not eat anything after midnight before your myelogram appointment. Clear liquids are generally acceptable.
  • If you need to take any medicine on the day of your appointment, take it with a clear liquid (for example, water) unless your doctor gives you other instructions.
  • You may be instructed to keep jewelry and valuables at home.

During the myelography

  • The duration of the procedure varies, but on average it is 1 hour.
  • The technician will place you on the testing table, usually face down.
  • Computed tomography is performed following this procedure.
  • A technician and a radiologist will be available to answer any questions.

After the myelography

After the procedure, you will be taken to the radiology waiting area for your exam. It is important to keep the head slightly elevated for 24 hours after the myelogram. Use 1-2 pillows on the bed. Do not go to bed until the next morning or allow your head to be lower than the rest of your body.

Drink more fluids throughout the day. Drinks with alcohol and caffeine are restricted prior to the test. If you go home, you will be given discharge instructions.

What to expect from the procedure?

A myelogram will help to examine your spinal cord, spinal nerves, nerve roots, and bones in the spine by injecting contrast into your spinal fluid. As a result, it will also help to find whether anything is pressing against your spinal cord or nerves. There are a few different things that could be responsible for causing this pain and unwanted pressure in the spinal cord, including:

  • Herniated or bulging discs.
  • Arthritis in your spinal joints.
  • Tumors within, or adjacent to, your spine.
  • An infection, or other inflammatory processes.
  • Compared to an MRI, a myelogram, and the post myelogram CT scan, is able to show the bony details in a better way but is less capable of showing the soft tissue details in your spine.

How long should you rest after a myelogram?

  • After the test, it is usually not necessary to remove the contrast material from the spinal canal. Myographic contrast material is absorbed by your body and naturally eliminated by your kidneys through urination within 1-2 days.
  • Drink more fluids, 1 cup every hour until bedtime, unless your doctor prescribes it
  • Liquids help remove the contrast medium from your body and prevent headaches.
  • Avoid physical activity that leans down.
  • If possible, avoid coughing, sneezing, sneezing, and rapid movements for 24 to 48 hours.
  • You can immediately resume medication and diet before the test.
  • You will be in the radiology recovery room for about 2 hours.
  • Before you are discharged, the nurse will instruct you to take it home.
  • Have someone with you who can drive you home. You cannot drive home alone.

Side effects of myelography

Most patients do not experience side effects after myelography. The most common side effect is a headache, which usually goes away with rest and fluids within a day or two. Other side effects include nausea, dizziness, widespread pain, nausea, and/or vomiting.

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