What is this test for?
A myelogram is a test in which dye is injected into the fluid-filled space around the spinal nerves to detect problems.
Please see your appointment letter to find out where your study will be performed. If you have any questions, please contact Radiology Scheduling at 1-319-356-3444.
If you are not able to do the prep listed, your test may need to be delayed or canceled.
Preparing for the procedure
Please tell your doctor or nurse if you are:
- Pregnant or may be pregnant
- On blood thinners such as Coumadin, you will need to stop taking before this test.
- Taking mood-elevating drugs, antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, MAO inhibitors, CNS stimulators, or tranquilizing drugs, you should stop these 48 hours before the exam.
- Allergic to any medicine or x-ray dyes (discuss this with your doctor before the day of the procedure. You may be asked to take medicine the night before the morning of the procedure.)
- Do not eat for four hours before your report time.
- Do not drink for one hour before your report time, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. (You may drink clear liquids, such as tea, broth, or apple juice, prior to that time.)
If you have another test today where you are told not to eat or drink for a longer period of time, follow those instructions.
You will not be able to drive or operate heavy machinery for 48 hours after the test. Be sure to bring someone who is able to drive you home.
Bring a list of the medicines you take to the test.
The test cannot be done if you are taking certain medicines. Your doctor or nurse will provide you with a list of medicines to be stopped. If you have questions about stopping your medications, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
DO NOT smoke for six hours before the test.
What to expect
This test will take 45-60 minutes, but you will need to stay in the area for four hours after the test is done.
After the procedure
Lie down with your head up on two to three pillows and stay quiet for 24 hours.
Drink two quarts of fluids, especially drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate or pop (Pepsi, Coke, or Mountain Dew), for three days after the test. Caffeine will help prevent headaches after this test. If you experience a headache, nausea, or vomiting after the test, lie down with your head up on two to three pillows. You can ask your doctor for medicine to control this.
No strenuous activities, such as mowing the lawn. Rest often for two days after the test.
It is possible to have a seizure in the first 24 hours after your test. If this happens, call or go to your local doctor, your local emergency room, or the emergency room at the University Hospital. You will be given phone numbers to call when you are ready to go home.
If you have diabetes and are taking Metformin, you should not take it for two days (48 hours) after your test. Talk to your doctor about what to do to control your diabetes during this time. If you do not know if your diabetes medicine has Metformin in it, ask your nurse, doctor, or pharmacist.