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Mechanism of burn injury during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — simple loops can induce heat injury

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To determine the mechanism of burn injury associated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the induced current in the loops of a conductive lead was measured. Seven types of loops with effective areas within the range from 100 to 12 000 cm2 were made and then each loop was placed in the bore of a whole-body MR system at 0.5 T and MRI was carried out. During radio frequency (RF) irradiation, an induced voltage was observed in loops that were placed with their axes parallel to the linearly polarized transmitting RF field. The voltage had a sincfunction characteristic and was within the range 55-235 V at the RF pulse sequence for usual MR imaging. When the axis was vertical, negligible current was observed. A resistor inserted into the circuit of a 30 × 40 cm loop sparked and burned out. Simple loops of conductive material may result in the induction of a large and potentially hazardous voltage in the imaging system. Self-resonance of such a loop may add greatly to hazards by increasing the effective coupling to the RF transmitter. Also, impedance matching of the inserted resistor with the impedance of the loop increases the dissipated power at the resistor.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, 53 Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan; 2: College of Medical Technology, Kyoto University, 53 Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan; 3: Department of Radiology, Kyoto City Hospital Takada-cho, Mibu, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8845, Japan; 4: Department of Physiology, Meiji University of Oriental Medicine, Hiyoshi-cho, Funaigun, Kyoto 629-0392, Japan


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