How is patient anxiety managed prior to performing magnetic resonance mammography (breast MRI)?

Updated: Feb 25, 2019
  • Author: Preeti Gupta, MD, FRCR; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Patients undergoing breast MRI are often anxious either because they have a known diagnosis of breast cancer or because they are expecting one. In anxious or claustrophobic patients, the physician and technologist can use the following strategies:

  • Provide a good explanation of the examination.

  • Use a calm, relaxed approach during the examination.

  • Allow the patient to enter the magnet bore feet first.

  • Intermittently move the patient out of the tunnel if needed.

  • Appropriately shorten the sequences as appropriate.

Extremely anxious patients may require IV sedation. Midazolam, 3-5 mg, via slow IV injection is effective.


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