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Computed Tomographic Myelography


  • Computed tomographic (to-MOG-rah-fik) (CT) myelography (mie-LOG-rah-fe) is a procedure to examine the spinal canal with contrast material (dye). A CT myelography uses a special x-ray machine with computer, called CT scan, that takes pictures of the body in slices. The spinal canal contains the spinal cord, which carries messages between your brain and body, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a clear fluid that also flows around the brain. The spine is made up of vertebrae (small bones) stacked on one another with soft discs in between bones. CT myelography is usually done to get more detailed pictures of an abnormal part of the spinal canal. It may diagnose problems in the spinal cord, disc, or vertebra when a myelography using plain x-ray is not enough. It may also be used when other imaging tests, such magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cannot be done.
  • In this procedure, dye is injected into the spinal canal to give a better view of the spine. The dye may be made of oil but is usually made of water which can be absorbed by the body. The dye may be put in the lower back area or in the neck area of the spine. Pictures of the spinal canal are then taken using the CT scan. Sometimes, caregivers may take x-ray pictures first before doing a CT scan.



  • Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Drinking liquids:

Adults should drink about 9 to 13 cups of liquid each day. One cup is 8 ounces. Good choices of liquids for most people include water, juice, and milk. Coffee, soup, and fruit may be counted in your daily liquid amount. Ask your caregiver how much liquid you should drink each day.


  • You feel anxious or irritable.
  • You have a headache or nausea (upset stomach) that does not go away with rest and medicine.
  • You have severe (bad) pain in your back or neck.
  • You have bleeding or a discharge coming from where the needle was put into your back.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure or medicine.


  • You have a headache that is very bad and does not get better.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have a stiff neck or have trouble thinking clearly.
  • Your legs, feet, or other parts below the waist feel numb, tingly, or weak.

Learn more about Computed Tomographic Myelography (Aftercare Instructions)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.