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A heterogeneous model of the human body and the scalar potential finite difference method are used to compute electric fields induced in tissue by magnetic field exposures. Two types of coils are considered that simulate exposure to gradient switching fields during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These coils producing coronal (y axis) and axial (z axis) magnetic fields have previously been used in experiments with humans. The computed fields can, therefore, be directly compared to human response data. The computed electric fields in subcutaneous fat and skin corresponding to peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) thresholds in humans in simulated MRI experiments range from 3.8 to 5.8 V/m for the fields exceeded in 0.5% of tissue volume (skin and fat of the torso). The threshold depends on coil type and position along the body, and on the anatomy and resolution of the human body model. The computed values are in agreement with previously established thresholds for neural stimulation.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2004