Claustrophobia affects minority of MR scans

October 1, 2007

A study of more than 4800 hospital patients has established that claustrophobia remains an impediment for MRI practice and a difficult experience for about 2% of patients undergoing MR procedures.

A study of more than 4800 hospital patients has established that claustrophobia remains an impediment for MRI practice and a difficult experience for about 2% of patients undergoing MR procedures.

By reviewing imaging records, Dr. Iris Eshed and colleagues at Charite Medical Center in Berlin learned that 95 of 4821 patients complained of claustrophobia during routine clinical MR imaging on 1.5T scanners at the hospital in 2004. Among those cases, 59 were severe enough to prematurely halt imaging. The results were reported in the July issue of the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Eshed's results match previous findings from other large cohort studies of MR-related claustrophobia.

Eshed recommended partial sedation and prone positioning when possible to control the number of prematurely terminated studies because of claustrophobia.