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Thread: CT Myelogram

  1. #1

    Default CT Myelogram

    It's believed I have a CSF Leak, but we don't know the location. For those of you who have had a CT myelogram, was it of the entire spine? were you worried about the amount of radiation? how long did the scan last?

    My Dr recommended doing a full MRI scan of the spine (1.5hrs) and that may help locate the leak, then we could do a more focused CT. I hate MRIs, although she did prescribe me a sedative. I did a CT scan of my head and neck and it was fast, which I liked. It also sounds like the CTM is the best way of detecting leaks, so the faster we find it, hopefully I can get rid of the headaches.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Ging's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    Denverleaker,I am Ging
    welcome to Braintalk, I like your question , I don't know the answer but hey It made me want to know more about this too !
    Interesting, can someone tell me the difference between a myelogram and MRA or CTA? Because of aneurysm I will have to have MRA next March , but I have headaches with this as well. Hummm

  3. #3
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Long Island, NY


    Dear Ging --

    I can only tell you my experiences in my journey to get relief from these CSF headaches. I hope this helps.

    Last year I went to Duke, where Dr. Gray performed a spinal tap to check my opening pressure, then followed up immediately with a cervical myelogram with IV contrast under CT guidance. She was able to locate 3 leaks in the thoracic area, and she blood-patched them immediately. My entire procedure took 2.5 hours, with 2 hours in recovery. I would imagine this might answer your other question- it appears my entire spine was filmed, since my initial CSF leak was in the cervical area. I am not sure about that.

    Truthfully, the amount of radiation never entered into my decision to undergo these tests. When pain outweighs the fear, you just have to give it a shot!

    Another point to consider - after 3 1/2 years of searching for the correct test to diagnose the location of the leaks, I have found current MRI technology does not always give a definitive picture of leaks. Dr. Gray therefore performed the SP and CTM as indicators, so you might want to discuss this with your neuro, rather than go thru extensive MRI scanning. Just a thought --- I am only speaking from my experience again. I had been thru over 8 MRIs and CT scans prior to the CTM, with only my initial MRI in 2008 showing any indication of a leak, and no change in my spinal headaches.

    Perhaps there are others out there who would share their experiences with you.

    Just an FYI - MRIs do not expose you to radiation, but CT scans do. Speak to your doctor about that concern also.

    Good luck --- I will be praying for your quick recovery!
    - Marianne

  4. #4


    I've had two CT myelograms and it was of my entire spine. I'm not sure if this is always the case. In my case, I had several spine MRIs and my leak was all over, so the CT scan was of my entire spine as well. The CT scan was much shorter than the MRI. I'm claustrophobic, so I always took a sedative before MRIs. I was given some meds for the myelogram; I'm sure a sedative was one of them, but I did not mind the CT scan at all. It's not closed like the MRI and much shorter.

    I was not worried about the radiation because like Marianne, I was willing to go through any test that would help find the leak. In my case, however, they still were not able to pinpoint exactly where on my spine the leak was coming from. I hope you have/had more luck!

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