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Method for locating a small magnetic object in the human body

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5 Author(s)
Ilmoniemi, R.J. ; Low Temp. Lab., Helsinki Univ. of Technol., Espoo, Finland ; Williamson, S.J. ; Kaufman, L. ; Weinberg, H.J.
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A piece of thin acupuncture needle lodged under the right scapula of a patient could not be found in surgical procedures accompanied by studies of 30 standard X-ray images. To locate it, the authors mapped the magnetic field component normal to a plane lying above the object, using a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID). Assuming that the needle could be modeled as a magnetic dipole, it was possible to infer its lateral position, depth, orientation, and magnetic moment. With this information, directed CT scans, high resolution X-ray films, and the subsequent surgical removal of the needle proved that it could be located in the body with an accuracy of about 3 mm.

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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 7 )