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RF heating of implanted spinal fusion stimulator during magnetic resonance imaging

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3 Author(s)
Chou, C.-K. ; Dept. of Radiat. Res., City of Hope Nat. Med. Center, Duarte, CA, USA ; McDougall, J.A. ; Chan, K.W.

Radio frequency (RF) heating of an implanted spinal fusion stimulator (SpF) during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was studied on a full-size human phantom. Heating during MRI scans (GE Signa 4X, 1.5 T) was measured with RF-transparent fiberoptic sensors. With the implant correctly connected, the maximum temperature rises were less than 2°C during the 26 min that the scans were at maximum RF power. At the tip of a broken stimulator lead (connecting the SpF generator and its electrodes), the maximum temperature rise was 11-14°C. Regular 4-min scans of the spinal cord produced similar temperature rises at the broken tip. After the generator and the leads were removed, heating at the electrode connector tip was less than 1.5°C. The control temperature rises at the same locations, without the stimulator, were less than 0.5°C. This study shows that spinal fusion stimulator heating is within the Food and Drug Administration safety guideline of 2°C. However, if a lead wire is broken, it is unsafe during MRI scans. Radiological examinations will be necessary to ensure the integrity of the implant.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

May 1997

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