Some people who have a myelogram
develop a headache, nausea, or vomiting after the test. The headache may last
for 24 hours. In rare cases, a seizure may occur after the dye is put into the
There is a small risk of a seizure if the dye moves
to the brain. This is why if or when you lie down, you need to keep your head
raised higher than your body.
There is a small risk of infection at
the needle site or bleeding into the spinal canal.
In rare cases,
the hole made by the needle in the sac around the spine does not close
normally. This can allow spinal fluid to leak out. This leak may need to be
repaired through a procedure called an epidural blood patch. To do the patch, your doctor injects some of your own blood to cover the hole.
There is a small
risk of having an
allergic reaction to the dye. You will be given
medicine for a reaction.
There is a risk of kidney problems if you
take metformin (Glucophage) to control your
In rare cases, inflammation of
the spinal cord, weakness, numbness,
paralysis, or loss of control of your bowel or bladder
Also in rare cases, the dye may cause blockage of the
spinal canal. If this occurs, surgery is usually needed.
always a slight chance of damage to cells or tissue from radiation, including
the low levels of radiation used for this test. But the chance of damage from
the X-rays is usually very low compared with the benefits of the test.
After the test
911 or other emergency services
right away if you have a seizure.
Call your doctor right away
Have any increase in pain, weakness, or numbness in your
Have a severe headache or stiff neck, or if your eyes become very
sensitive to light.
Have a headache that lasts longer than 24
Have problems urinating or having a bowel
Develop a fever.
Your doctor will talk to you about the results of your test.
The dye flows evenly through
the spinal canal.
The spinal cord is normal in
size, position, and shape. The nerves leaving the spinal cord are normal.
No narrowing or blockage of
the spinal canal is seen.
The flow of dye is blocked or
diverted. This may be due to a ruptured herniated
spinal stenosis, a nerve injury, an
abscess, or a tumor.
Inflammation of the membrane
(arachnoid membrane) that covers the spinal cord is seen.
One or more nerves leaving the
spinal cord are pinched.