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Myelogram

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Being pregnant. A myelogram is not usually done during pregnancy, because the radiation could damage the developing baby (fetus).
  • Not being able to lie still during the test.
  • Having had prior surgery on your spine or having a curved spine, severe arthritis, or some types of spinal injuries or defects. These conditions make it hard to place the needle with the dye into the spinal canal.

What To Think About

  • Keeping your head higher than your body after a myelogram may help prevent or reduce side effects of the test, such as headache, nausea, and vomiting.
  • A CT scan or an MRI has replaced the need for a myelogram in many cases.
  • A myelogram is often done with a CT scan to make more detailed pictures of the spine.
  • If a tumor is seen on the myelogram or if the lumbar puncture causes a total blockage of the spinal canal, you may need surgery right away.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2013). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 6th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerHoward Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology
Current as ofJuly 14, 2013
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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