Jason M. Gallina MD PC

Specialist in artificial disc replacement, non-fusion surgery and minimally invasive surgery

820 2nd Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10017
541 Cedar Hill Avenue
Wyckoff, NJ 07481
Phone: 212-616-4130 | Fax: 212-983-0483

Description | Indications | Mechanism | Limitations | Risks

Myelogram - Spinal diagnostic test


A Myelogram is a spinal diagnostic test in which a special dye is injected into the spinal sac via a spinal tap. The dye shows up on x-rays, and can determine spinal abnormalities. CT and MRI scans have largely replaced the myelogram as a diagnostic test.


The dye used in the myelogram mixes with spinal fluid, and shows the spinal cord and nerve roots on x-ray. The myelogram will show any indentation into the spinal sac, which may be an indication of a disc problem, tumor, or other abnormality or injury to the spinal nerves. A myelogram may be indicated for patients that have metal hardware in their body, which prevents the use of a CT scan or MRI scan.


A spinal tap is utilized to inject the dye into the spinal sac, where it mixes with spinal fluid and shows up on x-rays. Multiple x-rays are taken so that the flow of dye through the spine can be visualized.


The myelogram specifically shows the dye that has mixed with spinal fluid in the spinal sac. No other areas are visualized.


The main risks associated with a myelogram are related to the spinal tap that is utilized to inject dye into the spinal sac. A spinal tap runs the risk of infection, headache, and a possible allergic reaction to the special dye that is utilized. The radiation utilized by the x-rays, in large quantities, can increase the risk of cancer, though hundreds of x-rays would be required to reach a level of concern.


Related FAQs and Articles:

I have a metal plate in my leg, and need an MRI Scan of my low back. Will I be able to have an MRI Scan?