What Is a CT Cervical Spine Myelogram?


Quick Answer

A CT cervical spine myelogram is an imaging procedure performed by a radiologist and involves the use of a contrast dye, an X-ray and computerized tomography, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. A cervical spine myelogram looks for problems in the spinal cord and nerve roots of the neck.

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A myelogram is commonly performed to evaluate disk herniation, spinal cord or brain tumors, infections or inflammation of the spinal cord, spinal stenosis, ankylosing spondylitis, bone spurs, and arthritic disks, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Other indications include evaluation of degenerative disk disease, cysts, spinal nerve injury, and arachnoiditis.

During the procedure the patient is placed on the stomach on a myelogram table, explains the American Society of Neuroradiology. The back is cleansed and the doctor examines the area with a fluoroscope to determine the location for contrast injection. The area is anaesthetized and the contrast material is injected into the spinal canal in the location of the spinal cord and the nerves.

When the procedure is performed on the cervical spine the contrast material can be injected into the lower lumbar region or directly in the upper neck around the location of the problem, describes the American Society of Neuroradiology. The contrast material is used with an X-ray and CT to visualize the spinal cord and helps the doctor identify problems such as indentations and compressions.

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