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

  • Fractures

  • Disk herniation

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis

  • Spondylolisthesis

 

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