A magnetic resonance imaging study shows that I have a gas-filled cyst in my spine. My doctor now wants to do a computed tomography scan with myelography, and a discography. Are these really necessary?

While rare, gas-filled cysts in the spine can be rather small, even though they may produce significant symptoms. A CT myelogram is better than MRI at defining the lesion. Discography is the only method that can determine if there is communication between the disc space and the cyst.

Y. Kudo et al. Gas-filled intradural cyst with migration into the nerve root of the cauda equina. J Neurosurg Spine. May 2008. Vol 8. Pp. 482-486.

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