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A 36-year-old member asked:

Is there an alternative to mri for people who are claustrophobic?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carl Decker
Radiology 24 years experience
Open MRI: Open MRI is an alternative. The other option is to try a sedative and try a traditional mri. Ask your local radiology department.
Dr. Philip Chao
Dr. Philip Chao commented
Radiology 38 years experience
I would add that OPEN MRI done at low field is not a reasonable substitution. A better choice would be OPEN 1.5T MRI and if needed sedation or IV valium sedation. That is what we suggest. When you lower the field strength to 0.3 or less tesla you are very insensitive to iron or blood which can really change the diagnosis. You also cannot do diffusion weighted imaging so you will miss stroke.
May 11, 2013
Dr. Peter Nefcy
Radiology 39 years experience
Yes: CT with or without contrast, Ultrasound, Nuclear Imaging and regular X-rays can be considered depending on the symptoms and the body area being scanned. In addition, some patients respond well to premedication before an MRI study, and then do not have claustrophobia. Discuss options with your Doctor.

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