A lumbosacral spine CT is a computed tomography scan of the lower spine and surrounding tissues.
Spinal CT; CT - lumbosacral spine
How the test is performed
You will be asked to lie on a narrow table that slides into the center of the CT scanner. You will need to lie on your back for this test.
Once inside the scanner, the machine's x-ray beam rotates around you. (Modern "spiral" scanners can perform the exam in one continuous motion.)
Small detectors inside the scanner measure the amount of x-rays that make it through the part of the body being studied. A computer takes this information and uses it to create several individual images, called slices. These images can be stored, viewed on a monitor, or printed on film. Three-dimensional models of organs can be created by stacking the individual slices together.
You must be still during the exam, because movement causes blurred images. You may be told to hold your br...
A lumbosacral spine MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the structures that make up the spine, the spinal cord, and the spaces between the vertebrae, through which the nerves travel.
Conventional radiography and computed tomographic ( CT ) imaging use potentially harmful radiation (x-rays) that passes through a patient to generate images. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is based on the magnetic properties of atoms, and there is no exposure to the same type of radiation used in x-rays and CT scans.
A powerful magnet generates a magnetic field roughly 10,000 times stronger than the Earth's. A very small percentage of hydrogen atoms within the body will align with this field. Radio wave pulses are broadcast towards the aligned hydrogen atoms in tissues of interest, returning a signal of their own. The slight differences of those signals from different tissues enables MRI to tell the difference between various organs, and potentially, prov...
A lumbosacral spine x-ray is a picture of the small bones (vertebrae) in the lower part of the spine, which includes the lumbar region and the sacrum, the area that connects the spine to the pelvis.
X-ray - lumbosacral spine; X-ray - lower spine
How the test is performed
The test is done in a hospital x-ray department or your health care provider's office by an x-ray technician. You will be asked to lie on the x-ray table in different positions. If the x-ray is being done to diagnose an injury, care will be taken to prevent further injury.
The x-ray machine will be placed over the lower part of your spine. You will be asked to hold your breath as the picture is taken so that the image will not be blurry. Usually three to five pictures are taken.
How to prepare for the test
Inform the health care provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry.
How the test will feel
There is rarely any discomfort w...
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