Fragrance administration to reduce anxiety during MR imaging

J Magn Reson Imaging. 1994 Jul-Aug;4(4):623-6. doi: 10.1002/jmri.1880040419.


Fifty-seven outpatients received either heliotropin (a vanillalike scent) with humidified air (n = 20) or humidified air alone (n = 37) via a nasal cannula during magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnostic workup for cancer. Delivery of heliotropin and air was determined by a computer-controlled schedule. Fragrance administration resulted in a statistically significant reduction in average overall patient-rated anxiety (on a visual analog scale) during imaging in patients who found the fragrance moderately to extremely pleasant. Administration of fragrance was associated with 63% less anxiety than administration of humidified air alone. Physiologic measures (pulse and heart rate) did not show a statistically significant effect with fragrance administration.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Attitude
  • Benzaldehydes / administration & dosage
  • Benzodioxoles
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Odorants*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control


  • Benzaldehydes
  • Benzodioxoles
  • piperonal