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Can claustrophobic patients be provided with additional accommodation during an MRI examination?

There are several means of providing support for patients who are prone to experiencing psychological distress and symptoms of claustrophobia during an MRI scan. Behavioral therapy, during which the patient is taught a series of relaxation techniques, may be offered prior to the MRI examination in order for them to successfully manage and control their anxiety and discomfort during the procedure. However, if symptoms of claustrophobia are extremely severe and cannot be alleviated using the previous method, the patient can be administered a short-acting sedative or anxiolytic medicine before the MRI scan.

Proper anesthesia is rarely used as it involves a series of inconveniences. Additionally, open-bore or wide-bore MRI scanners may be available for patients suffering from severe psychological distress and claustrophobia. These types of MR systems can be suitable alternatives for such patients, providing more space and thus relieving or completely eliminating discomfort and anxiety associated with claustrophobia.

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