CT Scan / CT Myelogram
A computed tomography (CT) scan of the spine uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures. A computer reformats this information to create 3 dimensional images of the spine.
CT scans are useful for
Birth defects of the spine in children
Injury in the spine
Lumbar spinal stenosis
CT scans produce excellent images of bone but are not as good as MRI at representing soft tissue structions like ligaments, capsules, and discs
A CT myelogram includes the injection of contrast material into the subarachnoid space. The dye moves through the space so the nerve roots and spinal cord can be seen more clearly.
A CT myelogram is used when an MRI is not possible - for instance in patients with a pacemaker or other implanted metal objects. The study produces similar information to an MRI