To diagnose and treat a variety of disorders affecting the vertebral column, the radiographic examination of spinal anomalies is essential. Healthcare workers can learn a lot about structural integrity and disease of the spine by using imaging modalities like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. Spinal fractures, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spinal malignancies are just a few of the disorders that radiographic results can identify. These visual evaluations assist in establishing the degree of injury, locating the underlying source of symptoms, and directing the most suitable treatment options. In addition, a diagnostic imaging procedure called myelography is performed to see the spinal cord, nerve roots, and other tissues which requires the injection of a contrast dye. In comparison to traditional myelography, CT myelography offers detailed and high-resolution pictures that are more accurate and enable a better assessment of spinal abnormalities. This article explores the value and significance of CT Myelogram in defining spinal anomalies and supporting focused treatment therapies.
What Is a CT Myelogram?
A CT myelogram is a diagnostic test that uses contrast material and computed tomography (CT) to diagnose any abnormalities in the spinal cord. This test is also known as myelography. A CT myelogram is extremely useful as it gives an accurate and elaborate image of the spinal canal, spinal cord, nerve roots, and subarachnoid space. MRI is usually preferred to diagnose any pathologic spinal conditions as it is non-invasive, has high-contrast resolution images, and has negligible ionizing radiation. In situations where MRI and conventional X-rays cannot be used to diagnose the problems, a CT myelogram can prove vital, such as in patients in whom MRI is contraindicated, such as patients with implants and pacemakers.
What Are the Uses of CT Myelograms?
How Should the Patients Prepare for the Procedure?
Patients are advised to avoid solid foods for 6 hours before the test; however, they should consume an increased amount of clear fluid right from a day before the test. Hydration is essential for this procedure. Patients can consume any clear fluid such as water, black coffee, soda, or juice before the procedure.
How Is a CT Myelogram Done?
A CT myelogram is usually done on an outpatient basis. Patients must change into a hospital gown before proceeding. They would be made to lie either on their side or their stomach, depending on the site of the injection. Before starting the procedure, patients are advised to empty their bladder. Their lower back is cleaned using an antiseptic solution. The area is draped with sterile towels. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area. The patient may feel a burning sensation when the local anesthetic is injected. The radiologist uses a fluoroscope and a needle to puncture the skin after it has become numb. The presence of free slow spinal fluid flowing out will serve as confirmation that the needle has been placed into the subarachnoid space within the canal. This fluid can also be sent for laboratory analysis. The patient might experience some pressure as the needle is inserted inside. Contrast material will be injected through the needle into the spinal canal. The patient might experience a warm sensation when the dye flows in. The X-ray table is tilted so that the dye moves up and down and covers the area of interest. The needle is then removed. CT images may then be taken.
What Are the Patient Instructions After the Procedure?
What Are the Benefits of a CT Myelogram?
What Are the Risks Associated With CT Myelogram?
When Should An Individual Seek Medical Advice?
What Are the Limitations a of CT Myelogram?
There are various problems affecting the spinal cord, spinal column, or its adjoining structures. Though CT, MRI, and X-rays are conventional modes of diagnosis, they cannot be used at all times. In such situations, a CT myelogram plays a vital role in diagnosing spinal diseases. Also, it provides more precise details concerning spinal anatomy and structure. A conclusive diagnosis is essential for prompt treatment and a better prognosis.