Myelogram Procedure Information

Your doctor has recommended you for a myelogram. This is a test to show if there are any abnormalities in the spine, the spinal cord (the nerves in the spine) or the surrounding structures. The procedure uses a special dye which makes the nerves in the spinal canal visible to an X-ray. Franklin Moser MD, Director of Neuroradiology, leads our team of imaging physicians, nurses and technologists who specialize in these procedures.

Why Choose the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center for a Myelogram?

Before Arriving for Your Procedure

Please bring films and/or CDs of your most recent CT and/or MRI with you to your myelogram appointment. Without the images, we will be unable to perform the study.

Please continue to take any blood pressure or heart medications.

You will need to stop taking anticoagulants. Please inform your doctor. The following time frames should be followed:

  • Motrin, Aspirin (ASA) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) stop 7 days before your myelogram
  • Coumadin 5 to 7 days before (please consult your imaging physician)
  • Lovenox 24 hours before
  • Plavix 7 days before
  • Heparin 4 hours before
  • Any psychological drugs such as antidepressants or MAO inhibitors, 48 hours before and 24 hours after the exam

Please discuss with your physician before making any changes to your medication regimen.

Please bring a list of their medications you are currently taking the day of your myelogram.

Since you will be unable to drive yourself home, please arrange to have someone drive you home.

We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.

Please wear comfortable clothing.

After Arriving

A physician specialist in interventional radiology will discuss your procedure with you and answer any questions you might have.

After this discussion, you will be asked to sign a consent form, giving us permission to perform the test.

You must notify the nurse, technologist and/or imaging physician of any allergies you may have, or if you are pregnant, prior to your exam.

Also inform the team of any tranquilizing or anti-seizure medication you are taking, or if you are taking anti-depressants.

This test should not be done if there is a possibility that you might be pregnant, except in an emergency.

During Your Procedure

You will be asked to change into a hospital gown.

You will be asked to lie on your stomach or side on an examination table.

Monitors will be placed on you to measure your heart rate, blood pressure, and the oxygen level in your blood. You may also be given intravenous fluids.

A numbing medicine will be injected into the skin of your back.

A second needle will be used to inject the X-ray dye into your spinal column. A sample of your spinal fluid might also be removed for testing.

The examination table will be tilted in different ways to help distribute the dye in your spine.

X-rays will then be taken of your back.

A computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance image (MRI) or both may be taken after your myelogram. Due to scheduling issues, these scans do not always happen immediately after a myelogram. You may have to wait anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours between scans.

After Your Procedure

After the exam, you will be required to remain in bed for 24 hours, sometimes in a bed elevated to 30 degrees.

You will be encouraged to drink lots of fluids.

This exam is not a treatment, it will not lessen your back pain. It will, however, help your physicians to determine the cause of your pain and decide on a course of treatment.

The results of your myelogram will be sent to your physician who will discuss it with you.

To request copies of your films on CD-Rom or a copy of your report, please call (310) 423-8000.

Directions and Parking Information 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (310) 423-8000.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.  

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