Why Combine CT Scanning with Myelography?
To understand a CT scan with myelography, it is important to first understand the two components.
A Computerized Tomography (CT or CAT) scan helps to diagnose different spinal conditions including disc herniation, spinal stenosis, tumor, and vertebral fracture. The scan provides a radiographic image of a single body plane. It is particularly good at imaging hard tissue such as bony structures. The equipment is shaped like a donut or ring with a movable table that slides in and out of the ring. The scanning system includes a computer that creates pictures represented as cross-sections or slices of the target anatomy, such as a specific part of the spine. Capturing similar images is not possible with traditional x-rays.
A Myelogram (also known as myelography) is a diagnostic tool that uses radiographic contrast media (dye) that is injected into the spinal canal's fluid (cerebrospinal fluid, CSF). After the dye is injected, the contrast dye serves to illuminate the spinal canal, cord, and nerve roots during imaging.
Thus, when a CT scan and myelography are combined, images are produced that clearly show both the bony structures of the spine and the nerve structures. These images are invaluable to physicians as they diagnose a patient's spine problem.