What is a Myelogram?

A myelogram is a diagnostic imaging test where fluid (contrast) is injected into the spinal canal so that x-rays of your spinal cord and nerves can be taken. A myelogram is done to look for a source of pressure on the nerves in your neck or back. This pressure can be the source of pain in the neck, arms, back or legs.


Important medication instructions

The following list of medications should be withheld for 48 hours before and 24 hours after your myelogram, if medically feasible. If you are on any other medications known to increase your risk of seizure or bleeding, they should also be discontinued in the same fashion.

* ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST BEFORE STOPPING ANY MEDICATION, and notify someone in the radiology department if you have any questions.




Amitriptyline hydrochloride (Elavil)



Amoxapine (Asendin)



Bupropion hydrochoride (Wellbutrin)

Promethazine (Phenergan)


Clomipramine hydrochloride (Anafranil)



Desipramine hydrochloride (Norpramin)



Doxepin hydrochloride (Sinequan/Adapin)



Fluoxetrine hydrochloride (Prozac)



Imipramine hydrochloride (Imiprin/Tofranil)



Isocarboxazid (Marplan)



Maprotiline hydrochloride (Ludiomil)



Nortriptyline hydrochloride (Pamelor/Aventyl)



Phenelzine sulfate (Nardil)



Protriptyline hydrochloride (Triptil/Vivactil)



Sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft)



Tranylcypromine sulfate (Parnate)



Trazodone hydrochloride (Desyrel/Tracon)



Trimipramine maleate (Surmontil/Apo-trin)



If you are taking any blood thinners, you must be off of them for 4 days before the exam, and not resume until the day after.


Reopro (abceiximib) 
Integrilin (eptifibatide) 
Aggrastat (tiofiban) 
Aggrenox (sipyridamole asa) 
Angylin (abanagrelide) 
Persantine (dipyridamole) 
Ticlid (ciclopidine) 
Plavix (c-lopidogrel)

*If you are on plavix you must be off the medication for 7 days prior to the myelogram, and not resume until the day after. **If taking aspirin and plavix together, you must be off of them for 10 days before.


Do not eat any solid food after midnight the night before your myelogram. You may drink liquids. You will have an opportunity to ask questions prior to your test. You will be asked to sign a consent form prior to your test.

It is important that you have someone come with you to drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours after the test. It may also be helpful to bring a few pillows with you to use in your car on your way home.

Please make arrangements for children, as there are no childcare facilities on site. Children are not allowed in the examination room.

What to Expect

You will be asked to go to the bathroom and empty your bladder before the test is done. You will lie on your stomach on an x-ray table. A radiologist will explain the procedure to you. We will then clean your back with an antiseptic solution and numb a small spot in your lower back with a local anesthesia. After the area is numb, a thin needle will be inserted into your spinal canal, and a small amount of x-ray contrast material will be injected into your spinal canal through the needle. You may feel some mild pressure when this is done. X-rays will be taken. You will be taken to the CT scanner where high detail CT scans of the area will be performed with the contrast in your spinal canal. Following the CT, you will be allowed to return home.

Follow Up

*Please refer to the above medication instructions listed under Preparation.

The contrast that was injected into the spinal canal is water-soluble and will be discharged from your body by your kidneys. To prevent the contrast from reaching the head area it is important to keep your head elevated, keeping the contrast low in your back If the contrast reaches our head you might suffer headache. You should keep your head on several pillows or sit in a recliner chair for the first twelve yours after the test. Do not lie flat without several pillows under your head. After the first twelve hours, remain in bed with a pillow or two under your head until the next day. You are encouraged to drink 6 to 8 ounces of fluids every two hours in order to help your kidneys discharge the contrast.

Occasionally, patients may get a headache after the test. Most of these headaches will go away on their own if you drink a lot of fluids and stay flat in bed for an extra day. If you get a severe headache that does not go away after taking a pain pill with bed rest, you should call your physician.

Your referring physician will be provided results within 2-3 working days.


If you are pregnant or feel you may be pregnant, please notify the technologist prior to your exam.